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Referendum Drive Underway for Transgender Rights Bill

Organizers will need to collect 18,500 signatures by May 31st and almost 56,000 signatures by June 30th.
Referendum Drive Underway for Transgender Rights Bill
Referendum Drive Underway for Transgender Rights Bill
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Maryland General Assembly passed a transgender rights law this year, but this fight is far from over. The law gave transgender people equal rights in employment, housing, credit, and public accommodations.

"We are going to try and take Maryland's 'Bathroom Bill' to referendum so the voters can decide on this issue this coming November," said Del. Neil Parrott (R-Washington County), who's the chairman of mdpetitions.com.

Voters will decide whether to uphold or overrule the law if the group gets enough signatures.

"If I go door to door and I tell people, 'Did you know about this bathroom bill, I'm surprised that so many people don't know it even happened," said Del. Kathy Szeliga, (R-Baltimore/Hartford Counties).

Supporters of the bill say it will give transgender people the same rights as everyone else, but opponents say they're afraid of what could happen in women's restrooms.

"It's really unfortunate because this bill really defies common sense in that it allows a man who truly feels like a woman or claims that we truly feels like a woman, to go into the women's room," Parrott said.

"This bill is a step too far," Szeliga said. "It has gone beyond protecting the rights of transgenders, and it actually will open the door to allow sex offenders and pedophiles access to women and little girls in bathrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms."

Parrott says his group is going to be busy getting ready for two deadlines.

"It's going to be a large effort from now until the end of June to try and go places, work with volunteers, and try and have county coordinators to try and get these signatures," Parrott said. "It's going to take people from all across the state to go to mdpetitions.com, download the form, sign it and date it."

Organizers will need to collect 18,500 signatures by May 31st and almost 56,000 signatures by June 30th.

Parrott says he hopes to get 75,000 signatures, almost 20,000 more than required, by the end of June to make sure there's enough cushion to get the measure on the ballot.
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