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Transgender Law Opponents Look To Referendum

Opponents have 45 days to collect the valid signatures of nearly 29,000 registered county voters.

The clock could start running as early as today or tomorrow on an effort to petition to referendum the transgender anti-discrimination bill passed Tuesday by the Baltimore County Council.

Ann Miller, a Phoenix Republican who opposed the bill, told Patch after the vote that she and other opponents would attempt to place the issue on the 2012 ballot.

"We're focusing on the next phase—petitioning this bill to referendum," said Miller.

If successful, it could be the first time in county history that a county law has been successfully petitioned to the ballot, according to some long-time council observers.

The hurdle for getting the law on the ballot is high.

Opponents will have 45 days from the day the county executive signs the bill to collect the signatures of registered county voters equivalent to 10 percent of the total number of votes cast for governor in the county in the last gubernatorial election—about 28,826 signatures.

Petitioners can buy some extra time if they can collect 9,513 valid signatures in 30 days. The Board of Elections usually recommends that petitioners collect twice the required signatures in order to overcome typical rejection rates.

The balance of the signatures would be due in another 30 days.

Don Mohler, chief of staff and a spokesman for Kevin Kamenetz, said he expects the county executive to sign the bill as soon as the council delivers it to him—perhaps as early as today or Thursday.

Mohler said it "depends on when council staff gets bills down (it's) usually timely."

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Buck Harmon February 29, 2012 at 12:31 AM
I would suggest that you read the proposal Don.
Don Twine February 29, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Buck, I did read the bill. I'm no legal expert, but from what I read, everything looked up to par. As for the questions you posed above, I don't think it needs to be that specific. If a person identifies themselves as transgendered, or even gay for that matter, that should be it. I identify myself as gay, and that should be all I need to do. What am I supposed to do? Prove it? I don't think the person interviewing me for a job would want me to do that! (that was intended to be a joke, Buck, just to be clear) Or have an additional section on my driver's license saying I'm certified gay in Maryland? All joking aside, the questions you pose probably can never be officially answered because they may varie from individual to individual. I think the important defining thing is self identification. Unlike other minorities who mainly have physical traits that make them different (age, race, gender), LGBT is more about the internal identification. I know that can make people nervous about legal loopholes, like you are, but for now, that may be the best thing that we can go by. I say we just give this a wait and see attitude, and see how it goes. I honestly don't think it will bring more harm than good, in my opinion. Laws can be amended down the road if need be.
M. Sullivan February 29, 2012 at 01:23 PM
Don, Using your interpretation, I could decide that it would be fun to hang out in woman's locker rooms and, if confronted, simply declare myself to be transgendered.
M. Sullivan February 29, 2012 at 01:24 PM
Excellent points, Buck. This alone should tie up the courts for quite some time.
Buck Harmon February 29, 2012 at 01:54 PM
You are correct M. Sullivan.... many problematic flaws will surface...

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