ROYAL OAK –
Michigan State Rep.Tom McMillin (R-Rochester Hills) has voiced opposition to Royal Oak’s recently passed human rights ordinance, citing his fear that trans people will use bathrooms and make other people uncomfortable.
“Why the city would want to force places like schools, businesses and fitness centers to allow men to use a women’s restroom or locker room – and allow boys to access girl’s restrooms and locker rooms in schools, is beyond me,” he said in a press release.
However, Royal Oak Commissioner Jim Rasor said that McMillin need not fear the city’s bathrooms because the ordinance exempts religious organizations and schools.
“If Rep. McMillin would have taken the time to read our unique human rights ordinance, he would have noticed that the exceptions we enacted to the ordinance protect religious organizations and schools from the type of doomsday scenario that he is trying to scare Royal Oak voters into thinking could occur,” Rasor wrote in a Facebook post. “There is no possibility of the ridiculous and inflammatory scenarios which he would like to scare voters with occurring.”
LGBT activists said they are familiar with the anti-LGBT tactics that focus on bathroom usage.
“It’s the same mis-informed fear-mongering we’ve seen over and over. As a transitioned woman I most definitely am not a guy pretending to be a woman – a guy wearing a dress,” said Amy Hunter, president of Equality Michigan Pride PAC and a leader in Michigan’s trans community. “Nobody has anything to fear from us. It’s the ‘othering’ thing, to make us the object of people’s fears. It’s a tried and true tactic.”
“I’ve been telling everyone I could that they are going to turn this into a bathroom bill,” said Michelle Fox, executive director of Gender Identity Network Alliance. “What I’m worried about and really scares me is if Royal Oak decides to strip out gender identity just to get it passed.”
Readers of BTL might remember McMillin as the legislator who introduced HB 5039 in October. If approved it would prohibit municipalities from extending “special rights” to those not covered by the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act of 1976.
The Elliott-Larsen Act protects people on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, weight, height, familial or marital status. But it does not offer protection on the basis of sexual orientation. Some municipalities have approved their own ordinances that extend the act’s protections to LGBT citizens. This House bill says municipalities could “not adopt” such ordinances.
ROYAL OAK –