‘Gender identity’ trumps any squeamishness girls might feel about sharing bathrooms with boys.
March 3, 2013, 6:04 p.m. ET
By JAMES P. EHRHARD
On July 1, 2012, a law went into effect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts titled “An Act Relative to Gender Identity.” The law added the term “gender identity” to the state’s antidiscrimination statute, joining far better known terms like “race,” “religion,” “sex” and “national origin.” The statute now also applies to “gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” The common term these days is “transgender.”
The need for this addition to the antidiscrimination law was never clear. The existing statute appeared to apply to every citizen of Massachusetts who could conceivably be the object of discrimination. “Sexual orientation” was already on the menu.
The new law’s strongest proponents estimated that no more than 33,000 people would come under the umbrella of those having “gender identity” concerns. That means the statute was rewritten to cover 0.51% of the state’s population (6,464,144 as of July 2012, according to the U.S. Census Bureau), even though advocates for the change were never able to show evidence of widespread transgender discrimination.
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