A group of conservatives led by
Delegate Neil C. Parrott, a Republican opposed to gay rights, have
launched an effort to repeal Maryland's recently approved transgender
Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley has
pledged to sign the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (SB
212), which seeks to prohibit discrimination in the areas of
employment, housing, credit and public accommodations on the basis of
gender identity or expression.
The group began collecting signatures
for a ballot initiative at MDPetitions.com, The
Washington Post reported.
At a press conference Tuesday to
announce the effort, Parrott said the group he chairs worries that
the legislation will allow men claiming to be women access to women's
restrooms. The group has dubbed the legislation the “Bathroom
Bill” and its repeal campaign includes imagery of a stick-figure
man climbing over a bathroom stall to reach a stick-figure woman.
“It opens it up to predators, not
necessarily transsexuals, but predators who will take advantage and
go into the opposite-sex bathroom,” Parrott told reporters.
“The unintended consequences of this
law demand that we take it to a petition,” said Delegate Kathy
Szeliga, also a Republican.
The petition claims that the
legislation “will require businesses to open up their public
facilities … so that men can use the ladies' room and women can use
the men's room.” However, an amendment to the bill added to
counter such claims defines gender identity as being “sincerely
held as part of the person's core identity.”