A group of conservatives led by Delegate Neil C. Parrott, a Republican opposed to gay rights, have failed in their effort to repeal Maryland's transgender protections law.

Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley last month signed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 (SB 212), which prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations on the basis of gender identity or expression.

The deadline to submit the first third of the required signatures to the Secretary of State to force a public vote on the issue was midnight Saturday.

LGBT rights advocate Equality Maryland announced on its Facebook page that opponents missed the deadline.

In announcing the effort, Parrot said that opponents worry that the legislation will allow men claiming to be women access to women's restrooms. The group dubbed the legislation the “Bathroom Bill” and its repeal campaign included 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 group's petition claimed 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.”