MD County Votes to Allow Coed Locker Rooms; Pro-Family Groups Outraged

The following are excerpts from an November 14, 2007 article appearing on

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“Coed locker rooms given green light”
By Bob Unruh, – November 14, 2007

Coed locker rooms could be a reality now that a new statute to allow people to “choose a gender” has been approved in Maryland.

But the measure, given the green light by elected officials in Montgomery County, will soon be the subject of a court challenge, according to a non-profit public-interest law firm.

“The definition for ‘gender identity’ is so vague that no individual of ordinary intelligence can possibly know when they are violating Chapter 27,” Robert Tyler, general counsel for the Advocates for Faith & Freedom, told county officials in a letter.

“Pursuant to the definition of ‘gender identity,’ an individual can choose a gender without limitation whatsoever,” he said.

Tyler’s comments referred to the newly approved county law 27-03, which creates a protected class of citizenry for those individuals who claim a “gender identity” issue.

As WND reported, the proposal generated a groundswell of opposition when it became known.

Essentially, the plan opens the doors of all public accommodations, including facilities such as locker rooms, to those who “perceive” they are of that gender.

WND also reported officials for Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays were raising concerns.

“Any time politicians write a law that violates the rights of others by forcibly invading their privacy, and forcing faith-based organizations and small employers to hire cross-dressers is bad law,” said Regina Griggs, executive director of PFOX.

Tyler told WND that presuming Ike Leggett, the county executive, signs the plan into law as expected, a lawsuit will be filed.

“We’re working on it at this point in time to evaluate it,” he said. “We do expect to file a lawsuit, it’s just a matter of when.” His earlier letter to the county suggesting that the plan be dropped warned it is unconstitutionally vague, infringes on the rights of religious groups and puts the privacy and safety of citizens at risk by allowing people with a mental disorder to decide which restrooms, locker rooms and other facilities they use.

Griggs noted, however, the American Psychiatric Association classifies gender identity disorder as a treatable mental illness, and Tyler called for county officials to start protecting and representing the citizens in the county.

“The female residents of Montgomery County clearly have a right of privacy that prohibits all persons of the opposite sex ‘from using a restroom, locker room, or other similar facility designated for females,’” Tyler said. “It is ridiculous to place the desires of persons suffering from gender identity disorder in front of the constitutional rights and safety of 99 percent of the residents in Montgomery County.”

< end of excerpts from article >

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