In response to a recently passed act banning "discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, cable television service, and taxicab service on the basis of gender identity" in Montgomery County, Maryland, the group Citizens for a Responsible Government has started a petition drive to overturn the bill.
Not so surprising. These repeal efforts and threats are unfortunately commonplace as we make these very important municipal advances for our community.
What is surprising (and made me almost smash my computer screen) is the name of their movement and website:
Not My Shower.net. Seriously.
But the most inflammatory rhetoric is after the jump...
The website and group was brought to my attention by my sister who lives in Maryland. She got a pre-recorded call that read this (from the website):
"No longer will women and girls be able to feel completely safe in the most private and personal bathroom and locker facilities of schools, public pools, malls, stores, health clubs, restaurants and other such public places throughout the county."
Really? Some transperson is going into your daughter's shower to ogle her? The opposite is actually true. The reason why they passed these protections is because the people who feel most unsafe and under constant scrutiny in those facilities are the trans-people, not these ubiquitous "women and girls." But that would be logical, not the complete fear-mongering which this group does in spades.
The string of misinformation and scare tactics continues:
"the outrageous legislation may result in forcing even religious schools to hire transgender teachers; and then also allow cross-dressing but biological males in your daughter's school locker room."
This is some of the most in-your-face, violence inducing language that I've seen from a campaign since Anita Bryant. Why not just paint targets on members of our community by calling them pedophiles and predators? In my view, this kind of "save the children" talk could easily lead to violence against transgender people.
I know the "which bathroom will they use" issue always comes up when people argue against trans-protections. It's usually a bit more subtle, though. This type of blatant attack is completely vile and without any support or merit.
Besides the scare tactics, the complete breadth of misinformation is staggering. But when you poke around the website, it starts to become clear who is really behind this effort.
Both the Family Research Council (the group who is anti-everyone that is not a White Christian Supremacists) and the Concerned Women for America (a long-time foe of anyone not June Cleaver) are quoted and cited on the pages. Their "guide to petition drives in churches" and "the constitutional rights of pastors" links appear various times throughout the site.
Considering the sources, maybe I'm not so surprised by the "Not My Shower" slogan.
I am, however, deeply disturbed. Anyone who says we don't need to extend protections to the transgender community needs only to look at this website to see the campaigns of hate we all have to face as community.