Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Transgender Bill Defenders Gear Up for a Fight

Reacting to a recent court decision allowing the anti-transgender referendum to proceed, the transgender bill’s defenders have launched a new website and are seeking staff.

Upon looking at the website, I was struck by the fact that it did not list its backers. But the site does list a treasurer: Christine Grewell, who served as treasurer in the 2006 campaigns of County Council Member Marc Elrich and District 18 delegate candidate Dana Beyer. (Ms. Beyer, a staffer for the bill’s lead sponsor, Duchy Trachtenberg, is a Vice-President of Equality Maryland and a prominent backer of the bill.) As many donors may be uneasy about contributing to an anonymous site, more names than just Ms. Grewell’s may be helpful.

Incidentally, wouldn’t it be outrageous if the shower nuts started a pro-transgender site to collect donations? That would be one way to drain the enemy of resources! But the shower nuts are not clever enough for that and Basic Rights Montgomery is a real organization.

According to this press release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Basic Rights Montgomery is chaired by Equality Maryland board member James R. Walker Jr., who is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the county’s Board of Elections. Equality Maryland is seeking a campaign manager and the new website’s purpose is, in part, to raise enough money to pay that person. Whoever it turns out to be, that individual could never be paid enough money to tolerate the hysteria coming from the other side.

In the end, the greatest advantage held by the bill’s backers may not be money or staff, but the referendum’s language as approved by the County Council. The language reads:

Shall the Act to prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, cable television service and taxicab service on the basis of gender identity become law?
This ensures that every voter will be reminded of the ultimate purpose of the transgender bill: outlawing discrimination. Few Montgomery County voters will knowingly support discrimination so the shower nuts have a high curtain to climb.

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