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Conservative Group Wants Referendum On Maryland Transgender Discrimination Bill

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Critics of the Fairness for all Marylanders Act refer to it as the "Bathroom Bill."
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Critics of the Fairness for all Marylanders Act refer to it as the "Bathroom Bill."

A conservative group in Maryland hopes to overturn the state's new law barring discrimination against transgender people by voter referendum.

The law protects someone who is transgender from losing their job or being denied housing for simply being transgender. It also lets them use the bathroom of their choice. Republican Delegate Neil Parrott is the chairman of MDPetitions.com. He wants to stop the law before it takes effect Oct. 1.

"It violates 99 percent of the rights of Marylanders to give maybe .1 percent Marylanders a special right to use the bathrooms that are not intended to them," Parrott says.

Parrott says the law would allow predatory men pretending to be women into the ladies room.

Keith Thirion of Equality Maryland, a group that advocates for LGBT rights, disagrees.

"The Fairness for all Marylanders Act does not allow someone who is not transgender — what opponents call a man in a dress — to put on a dress one day and commit illegal act," Thirion says.

The focus of the MDPetitions.com effort is on the bathroom issue, but a ballot initiative would let voters uphold or overturn all the new protections for transgender people. Parrott's group needs more than 55,000 signatures by the end of June to get his referendum on the November ballot.

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