Mary is fourteen. She attends a local public school here in Colorado Springs. Like the other students in her P.E. class, Mary hit the locker room after a grueling 40 minute workout. She had just minutes for a quick shower and change of clothes before heading to her next class. With just a towel wrapped around her, she gathered her shampoo and soap. Without warning, a 15-year-old boy walked into the girl’s locker room, disrobed in front of Mary, and headed for the girl’s showers.
Meanwhile, Amy, a six-year-old girl playing on a playground in the park across town, needed to go potty. Her mother pointed to the public restroom across the way and assured Amy she’d be waiting for her by the monkey bars. While inside the toilet, a man walked into the same bathroom where little Amy was using the facilities.
Neither of the above stories has happened–at least not yet.
But, now that Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter signed Senate Bill 200 yesterday, stories like these will be just the beginning. This legislative measure is designed to eliminate discrimination against people in all places–such as a locker room–regardless of their “sexual orientation.” Hard to believe? You bet. Listen to how the bill defines sexual orientation: “a person’s orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status or another person’s perception thereof.”
So, if you believe that your “orientation” is male, but you happen to be a female, this law would permit you, as a woman, to use the men’s locker room, bathroom, showers, or other private places traditionally reserved for men. Likewise, if you, as a man, desire to explore your feminine side, no problem. The law, if passed, would permit you access to women’s facilities.
Talk about opening the door to sexual predators.
But the insanity doesn’t stop there.
The measure covers both public and private run accommodations. Every hotel, movie theater, bagel shop, private school, home-based business, educational facility, or church would be required to permit men and women, cross-dressers, transvestites, bisexuals–as well as those who just want to explore their orientation–access to enter areas that have been previously designated as for men or women only.
What’s worse is the provision in this bill which actually makes it illegal–a crime–to vocalize a complaint about such actions! If you were to criticize or attempt to prevent a male from entering and using a female’s locker room or bathroom, or visa versa anywhere in the state of Colorado, guess what? You would be subject to up to a $5,000 fine and up to one year in jail. That’s unthinkable.
I wish this was an isolated case. It’s not.
Eight County Council members in Montgomery County, Maryland, actually approved a similar bill back in November, 2007 (Bill 23-07). The bill places sanctions against anyone who would “discriminate” on the basis of “gender identity.” The council defined “gender identity” as “an individual’s actual or perceived gender, including a person’s gender-related appearance, expression, image, identity, or behavior, whether or not those gender-related characteristics differ from the characteristics customarily associated with the person’s assigned sex at birth.”
Translation: Your sexual identity is what you feel inside.
While I agree that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect, forcing you and I to open our showers and bathrooms to the latest newfangled sexual trend defies common sense and civility. Unfortunately for Coloradans, there is no recourse to reverse SB200. However, if you live any place in the country where a handful of policy makers are planning to follow Colorado’s lead, now is the time to let your voice be heard.