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
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
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.”