Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Maine School Girls Locker Rooms Open to Men?

Maine commission considering requiring public schools to permit any male student, feeling like a girl that day, full use of girls' facilities

UPDATE 2/2/14: Maine Supreme Court Opens Girl's Room to Men

UPDATE 4/14/10: Commission backs off Gay Agenda and delays guidance document “Sexual Orientation in Schools and Colleges”

-- From "Transgender rights spark debate" by Christopher Cousins, Bangor Daily News Staff 2/17/10

New guidelines under consideration by the Maine Human Rights Commission designed to clarify the rights of transgender students in Maine has sparked a passionate debate over what some feel are impractical or abhorrent new requirements for public schools.

The commission’s proposed guidelines, which are scheduled for further consideration on March 1, state that transgender students are guaranteed access to public school bathrooms, locker rooms and sports teams based on whatever gender they consider themselves to be. That means a boy who identifies himself as a girl is by law allowed to use girls bathrooms, locker rooms and participate on girls sports teams, or vice versa. Being “transgender” means having a gender identity that is opposite a person’s biologically assigned sex at birth.

For some, including the Christian Civic League of Maine, the commission’s guidelines are “the latest outrage by radical homosexual activists” which constitute “an impossible absurdity,” according to a press release.

Paul Vestal, chairman of the Maine Human Rights Commission, told the Bangor Daily News Tuesday that there is nothing new about the requirements for public schools and that the commission’s guidelines do nothing more than clarify a law that has been on the books for five years.

At issue is a document under development by the commission titled “Sexual Orientation in Schools and Colleges.” The document is supposed to inform students, teachers, public schools and colleges about their rights and responsibilities under the Maine Human Rights Act. That act was amended by the Legislature in 2005 to include “sexual orientation” as a protected class, a decision that was upheld by voters during a people’s veto attempt later that year.

The debate was rekindled last year when the Human Rights Commission ruled against the Orono School Department for denying access to the girls bathroom to a biologically male student who identifies as a female. An appeal of that decision is pending in Penobscot County Superior Court.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Maine considers banning biology-based restrooms" by Michael Carl © 2010 WorldNetDaily 2/15/10

Christian Civic League of Maine Administrator Mike Hein said it's worrying because he believes the draft of the proposed regulations was developed in a December closed-door session.

"The Maine Human Rights Commission had a secret, closed-door session in December and the public wasn't notified. But Mary Bonauto (director of the Gay and Lesbian Activist and Defenders) was invited to the meeting and she was allowed to present a legal brief at that meeting," Hein said.

The commission said, in documents obtained through a Freedom of Access Act request by Maine's Christian Action League, the June determination that a school discriminated against a boy by not allowing him access to the girls' restroom was correct.

"The commission has found reasonable grounds to believe that unlawful discrimination occurred in a complaint alleging that an elementary school had an obligation to allow a transgender student access to common bathrooms consistent with that student's gender identity, and the commission is a party to a court complaint in that case," the commission concluded.

Another document obtained in the same request details the proposal: "Transgender students must be allowed access to bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity or expression or, if they prefer, to existing single stall bathrooms."

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.