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Poll: Most Md. Residents Support Transgender Rights Bill

A new poll found that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support a proposed bill that would ban discrimination against transgender individuals.

A new poll found that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support a proposed bill that would ban discrimination against transgender individuals. File|Patch
A new poll found that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support a proposed bill that would ban discrimination against transgender individuals. File|Patch

A new poll found that Maryland residents overwhelmingly support a proposed bill that would ban discrimination against transgender individuals.

The Goucher Poll, conducted by the politics center at Goucher College, found that 71 percent of those surveyed supported legislation that would include gender identity in Maryland's anti-discrimination laws, reports The Baltimore Sun. Of those, 39 percent strongly supported the legislation.

Twenty percent of respondents were opposed.

The bill, dubbed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, was approved by Maryland's Senate earlier this month and is under consideration by the House of Delegates.

The legislation bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and sexual identity but includes an exemption for religious groups, educational institutions, private clubs, small businesses and ­owner-occupied rentals with five or fewer units, reports The Washington Post.

It defines gender in terms of a person’s consistent and sincere expression of sexual identity based on appearance, expression or behavior, regardless of biological sex at birth.

Three-quarters of Maryland women support the bill (75 percent in favor to 16 percent opposed), while two-thirds of Maryland men support it (67 percent in favor to 24 percent opposed), according to MetroWeekly.com. The measure also enjoys bipartisan support, with Republicans supporting it by a 60-27 spread, Democrats supporting it by a 79-15 spread, and independents supporting it by a 68-23 spread. 

During debate on the bill in the Senate earlier this month, opponents raised concerns that sex offenders might take advantage of the law to steal into a bathroom of the opposite sex. Others warned that the law would subject people to embarrassing invasions of privacy from transgender people in locker rooms or restrooms.

Sen. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Montgomery) said the bill does not apply to private facilities designed for people of the same gender to disrobe — in other words, a locker room. He also dismissed opponents’ concerns about transgender people in public rest­rooms.

“People who are transgender do go to the bathroom now and it’s working out fine,” Raskin said in the floor debate.

At least 17 other states and the District have laws banning discrimination based on gender identity. Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties, along with the city of Baltimore, have also passed such measures. In 2007, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) issued an executive order banning discrimination against transgender people in employment. 

Bob Bobbers March 25, 2014 at 12:41 PM
There are 2 types of people who criticize polls: those who understand statistics and polling and those who don't. Those who do understand criticize the methodology and mathematics used. Those who don't understand criticize the results that they disagree with. In extreme cases they conflate their personal opinions with emotional and often paranoid scenarios in an attempt to sway others.
Alan Burdette Jr. April 07, 2014 at 07:40 PM
No one ever polls me!
Dennis Gilpin April 17, 2014 at 09:38 PM
Now that O'Malley and his cronies have sanctioned the ability of a male to enter a bathroom with one of our wives or daughters, it is up to him and his supporters to prove that it doesn't bother him. Let his wife or female family member be the first to prove how well this will work. The transgenders can just as well use a bathroom set aside for both female and male , thus a private setting. If you think the general public is ok with this you are wrong. The transgender person beat up on kenwood ave. will just be the first of many. Whoever voted for this is definitely not in touch with reality.
Maryellen Brady April 17, 2014 at 10:29 PM
Actually, the legislation is in touch with reality. A transgender individual is a mind/intellect in conflict with its body. It is a genetic evolution that assigned a female brain to a male body or vice versa. The brain is 95% developed by the age of 5. There is no threat to men or women who come into contact with transgenders. They are not GAY attracted to same sex, they are intellectually developed male or female. And once surgery is performed in peace with self. There was/is discomfort by public to breast feeding in malls, kids wearing low belts, gays kissing at air ports, but people get used to STRANGE when normalized. the only way to make that change in culture is to recognize the basic rights of all citizens to "liberty and the pursuit of happiness". O'Malley recognized that duty and acted rightly.
Lorna D. Rudnikas April 17, 2014 at 11:38 PM
It appears the transgender refers only to men who feel they are actually females....and therefore should be permitted to enter female restrooms at their leisure as part of their thought process. How very, very convenient for a certain number of predator males who have prayed to have this door opened to them....nmmmmm. And of course, if one disagrees, one is hopelessly marked as a heartless, thoughtless, uneducated, up to speed with today's more "in the know" darlings. Is the transgender person afraid the enter the mens restrooms, resulting therefore in conveniently not making it an issue for men? Ahhhh, but the female restrooms...you can take it girls...this so-called "poll" said so. Then again, surely our Governor is not sexist! Absolutely not...he had a duty and he acted on it....mmmmm. Wonder what is next. What happened to the old fashion "if you have a medical issue...get it fixed and move on thought process?" Why does everyone else have to become a part of that process? Just do it for God's sake. And hope after going through all that is entailed, one does not end up with the direct opposite result mentally.

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