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Organizers of Transgender Right Petition Work Hard as May 31 Deadline Nears

If organizers get the signatures required by May 31, the next hurdle will be in the end of June when they must have almost 56,000 valid signatures to put the measure on November's ballot.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - A petition drive is underway to put Maryland's transgender rights law on the ballot as a referendum in November.

Organizers with mdpetitions.com only have about a fourth of the signatures they need by May 31. They have a lot of work ahead of them but say they're confident they'll get the signatures they need to continue to referendum.

Delegate Neil Parrott, the chairman of mdpetitions.com, is hard at work going door-to-door trying to get signatures for a petition drive.

"We have a May deadline to get signatures, I've got the signatures pages right here, for the 'Bathroom Bill,'" said Parrott, (R) - Washington County.

The Maryland General Assembly passed a bill this session the governor signed into law last week making it illegal to discriminate against transgender people in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.

Opponents refer to the law as the "Bathroom Bill" over fears of what they say could happen in women's restrooms.

"It allows men, if there's a guy who's dressed just like me, he could walk into a restaurant and use the women's restroom as long as he sincerely believes in his heart he's a woman. That's what the bill language says. If anyone would challenge him and say, 'You can't go in there,' they could be successfully sued,'" Parrott said.

Organizers of mdpetitions.com will need to collect 18,500 signatures by the end of the month to continue with the drive. Organizers say they only have 5,000 at this point. Organizers want to get 25,000 signatures by the end of May to have some cushion.

"I think we should have more of a say of what goes on in our government, state government, federal government. I think we are slowly being denied that," said Morris Morningstar, who signed the petition.

However, others have a different take.

"No, I wouldn't sign it. Why? Because I think it's just a load of crud how they're trying to stop trannies from using a regular bathroom or someone with the same sex who looks different. That's just absurd to me," said Eric Avent, who won't sign the petition.

If organizers get the signatures required by May 31 the next hurdle will be in the end of June when they must have almost 56,000 valid signatures to put the measure on November's ballot.
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