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Maryland Trans Nondiscrimination Bill is Anti-Family? What?!

Maryland Trans Nondiscrimination Bill is Anti-Family? What?!

Maryland senate president Thomas V. “Mike” Miller, a Democrat, was shown to have a puzzling and rather ignorant view of Maryland’s failed Gender Identity Anti-discrimination Act this week when it emerged he called the bill “anti-family” during a television interview that aired April 8. He also said that he knew senators who wouldn’t employ “people with male sexual organs who wear a dress to serve as receptionists.”

From The Advocate:

Maryland Public Television interviewed Miller for its State Circle program that aired April 8, three days before the conclusion of legislative business. Last Monday the senate voted to recommit the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act to committee, killing its prospects for passage this year despite the bill’s having surmounted numerous obstacles to reach the senate floor in the final hours of the 90-day session.

“I personally believe it’s antifamily, and so I am going to vote against it,” said Miller in the interview. “The problem is this: I have senators that are not going to hire, uh, people with male sexual organs who wear a dress to serve as receptionists, OK? Um, and so if they’re not going to do it, if the senators and house members themselves wouldn’t hire a person in that category, how can we say to constituents, you’ve got to do this?”

House Bill 235, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, which went through a number of amendments before receiving a final 86-52 vote in the House just a few weeks ago, would have prohibited discrimination based on “a gender-related identity, or appearance of an individual regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth” and covered employment and credit, while offering limited protections in housing.

The legislation was recommitted by senators in a 27-20 vote on the last day of the legislative session.

The trans community itself was divided on the bill given that it omitted protections in public housing that would have left the trans community vulnerable and with no remedy given how hard it is to pass trans-inclusive legislation.

However, advocates of the bill said at the time the votes were there to pass the legislation and that it was political maneuvering behind the scenes that prevented the bill becoming law. Now, the finger of blame is pointing directly at Miller.

More from The Advocate:

“We believe that he basically decided to hold one of the communities hostage because another part of the community was involved in actions that really upset him,” said [transgender activist Dana Beyer]. “This was his way of punishing us. He feels that his people were hung out to dry.”

The office of Senator Miller did not respond to a request for comment.

[You can read more and watch the full segment including the interview over at The Advocate.]

As to how legislation preventing workplace, housing and credit discrimination can be “antifamily” escapes me and in fact smacks of lazy rhetoric that is not even masked particuarly well. Miller’s description of trans people is also highly offensive yet very  telling. He reduces them solely to their sex characteristics and touches on the tired transvestite caricature rather than regarding trans people as individuals worthy of respect and a civil, non-sexualized level of discourse.

To read more background on the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, please click here.

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to brainchildvn.

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36 comments

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6:16AM PST on Jan 26, 2012

Why exactly is it anyone's business what anyone chooses to do with their body? If someone feels that they have been born in the wrong body, and that their current situation brings them nothing but pain then surely they should be allowed to change it.

After all, don't plenty of right wing politicians state that people who fail to take charge and action against the negative aspects of their life deserve to feel that way? So why exactly should someone be punished for doing exactly that? And anti-family? What on earth is that suposed to mean.

People like this with their bigoted points of view and entitled sense of self need to stop forcing their awful points of view on others, since they obviously don't appreciate it when they feel the same is being done to them. Hypocrites.

6:07AM PDT on Apr 23, 2011

Hip Hip Howrah! I agree with the traditional family of the birth rights of straight shooting peckers that hit the target straight on the womb. Mother and Fathers take top honors only when they appreciate and protect their children's thought process from being molested by pornographic induced media.
Anyone that does not appreciate the gender they were born with are insane to begin with! Yes that's right...I said insane!!!!!!
I salute this politician for standing tall!

10:41AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

Anti-family? Miller is an idiot.

7:31AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

Miller needs to be voted out of office.

4:18AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

It's sad that people like Miller get elected....

1:04AM PDT on Apr 21, 2011

Trans people are not like trans fats, Cis fats may be more in line with what is good for us, but trans people have a right to live and survive in an otherwise herterosexual community. If someone want to hire a trans, why no,if that boosts their sales OK , If it puts certain people off they can vote with their feet. For god sake don't legislate for everything in this world it's enough to drive society up the wall.

7:43PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

God bless America! No really, please God bless America with some sense. Rather than moving forward in our evolution to becoming more enlightened and less judgmental of others, we seem to be moving back in history. If there is a God, she is very disappointed in us humans!

3:45PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

Jayna W.. This particular situation isn't about "gays".. but, about Transsexual people.. and specifically in this particular case, male-to-female TS women :-)

2:02PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

mmmm,there is more to Mike Miller's misogymy than meets the eye..."The problem is this: I have senators that are not going to hire, uh, people with male sexual organs who wear a dress to serve as receptionists," he assumes that only females are receptionists and they are expected to wear dresses! Yuuuucckkkk

12:07PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

The belief that extending the same inherent rights that all human being enjoy to gay people is somehow threatening to families is a quaint, yet nonsensical belief that is nothing but nonsense and whackery. You will never get a sane, rational point of view from a these people/ They have none. Their thought processes are somehow clouded and diverted. It is difficult to determine if their insane belief systems clouds their rational minds, or if their rational minds were somehow distorted and disfocused at birth. I believe that it is a lot of both. I never argue with these people. It is an argument that will fall on deaf ears. They have eyes yet they do not see, ears yet they do not hear, minds yet they do not think. Just be glad that you and I are not like that.

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