January 27, 2012 at 1:07 pm EDT | by Steve Charing
Baltimore County debates bias bill
Sharon Brackett, gay news, gay politics dc

Sharon Brackett. (via Google+)

A bill that would add gender identity and sexual orientation to the protected classes in Baltimore County’s code was introduced on Jan. 17.

Proponents of the bill, clad in purple as a show of unity, testified about the need for protections in the workplace and in public places including restrooms.

“I have seen the result of this kind of discrimination and it should not be allowed in Baltimore County,” said Sharon Brackett, board chair of Gender Rights Maryland, in a statement.

Opponents decry the bill as providing an opportunity for men dressed as women to enter a women’s restroom and attack women.

“Transgender people are using the bathroom because that’s what they have to do is use the bathroom,” said Brackett. “There’s no evidence, there’s no proof, it doesn’t happen.”

Observers expect the bill to pass with another hearing scheduled for Feb. 14.

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