- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Maryland moms and dads will now have to be more vigilant when their children use public bathrooms. It will soon be legal for a man who simply says he identifies as a woman to use the ladies’ room.

This serious risk for sexual assaults of women and little girls is all in the name of political correctness. And this is just the latest in a string of successes by the transgender lobby.

On Friday, the Maryland House passed legislation that prohibits discrimination based on “gender identity” in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations — which, most disturbingly, includes restrooms.

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The state Senate passed the same bill earlier in the month. Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley is expected to sign it, and it will go into effect on Oct. 1.

The most dangerous impact of this new law is that a man cannot be stopped from going into a women’s bathroom, locker room or pool changing room.

The state does not specify that a person must have undergone a sex-change operation to have their legal rights of “gender identity” protected.

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A man doesn’t even have to dress like a woman.

To be considered transgender, you just have to give a “consistent and uniform assertion” of believing you are supposed to be the opposite sex. Or, a person has to provide evidence that the non-biological sex is “sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”

“How do you judge ‘sincerely held?’ Sexual predators and pedophiles are mentally ill. So having them say ‘I sincerely feel in my heart I’m a woman’ is not a stretch,” Delegate Kathy Szeliga, the minority whip, said in an interview Tuesday.

The Republican, who represents Baltimore and Harford counties, attempted to have the bill amended to exempt any place where a woman or girl disrobes and does not expect to see a man. The change was rejected.

“This leadership in Annapolis would rather ram this down on citizens than respect and protect women and girls,” Ms. Szeliga said. “Their attempt to protect a tiny percentage of people from discrimination opened up half of our population to potential predators who would use this law nefariously.”

No one knows exactly how many people believe they were born the wrong sex and want to act out on it. A Los Angeles County Department of Public Health report in 2012 estimates that 0.2 percent of the population is transgender.

Even if we accept this very high count, that means 12,000 of the 6 million Marylanders will benefit by this law that endangers every female.

Those outraged by this bill are considering a plan to assess whether there is enough financial and grass-roots support for a referendum in November.

A total of 55,736 signatures would be needed by May 31, but the state’s board of election recommends getting 20 percent to 30 percent more to compensate for the ones that are ruled invalid.

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