Bill would clarify restroom use

AUGUSTA — State Rep. Ken Fredette wants everyone to be clear on where he or she can go to the bathroom.

The Newport representative has submitted a bill to clarify the Maine Human Rights Act stance on restroom and shower facilities.

In pondering his bill, Fredette considered a 2007 incident in which the owners of an Auburn restaurant were sued for refusing to let a transgender person use the ladies room.

That controversy began at Denny's Restaurant when Brianna Freeman, formerly known as Bruce, used the ladies room while she was undergoing a male-to-female transgender procedure.

The flap resulted in debate about what right business owners, school officials and others have to dictate who can use which bathrooms. It also resulted in a court case, which is still pending.

Fredette, a former member of the Maine Human Rights Commission, seeks to overturn a 2010 decision regarding transgenders in public schools.

The suit filed by Freeman and other transgenders could set a precedent, Fredette said, and result in a flurry of lawsuits against business owners who only seek to protect their customers.

"We need clarification of this issue," Fredette said in a press release. "We should be understanding of the individuals involved, but these lawsuits could have far-reaching, negative consequences for any Maine business with separate bathroom facilities. It really puts them in an untenable position and subjects them to potentially substantial financial loss."

His bill seeks to establish that it is not an act of discrimination for a public or private entity to restrict restroom and shower use to members of a biological sex.

The bill is likely to be as controversial as it is confusing.

Fredette, a lawyer, was moved to submit the bill after the Denny's case and a similar incident in Orono, where middle school officials refused to allow a male-to-female sixth-grader to use the girls' restroom.

The Human Rights Commission ruled in September that the school had discriminated against the student, even though the school had accommodated the child by providing a separate bathroom and a private locker.

Fredette has said it was his belief that the commission overstepped its bounds when it made that decision.

When she filed suit against Denny's, Freeman, 44 at the time, said she considered herself female and believed she should be allowed to use the women's bathroom in any public place.

“I am accepted and acknowledged as a female," she told a reporter in 2010. "It's really all I'm asking people to try to do.”

mlaflamme@sunjournal.com

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Comments

RONALD RIML's picture

And here's how one gets hoist on his own petard.....

We had this lawyer in town who owned a few properties - one being this rather 'boisterous' bar. One of the patron liked to 'cross dress' - though he had no pretentsions of thinking he was a woman.

This being about thirty-some years ago, we had a 'City Ordnance' on the books that one couldn't appear out in public in the clothing of the opposite sex. We never enforced it, but there it was. One night 'Goof Ball' was getting a little snippy in the bar. Not really rising to the level of "Disorderly Conduct' - one of the guys busted him for 'Public Cross-Dressing' - Back then we could lock someone up for a city ordnance violation. He eventually went to court - the owner of the bar - Attorney 'X' represented him, and they got that Ordinance thrown out as Unconstitutional.

Several weeks later we had a call there where a man was using the woman's restroom, had the Ladies upset, and the attorney wanted him charged. "With What?" -we asked. "You just got any city ordinances based upon sex nullifed. Live with it!" Of course we could have busted the guy for disorderly conduct, but Legal Beagle there needed to be taught that if he wanted to run a bar, he didn't need to screw with the cops.

RONALD RIML's picture

God Punished Japan because they have Coed Restrooms!!!!!


Barry King's picture

Hey Ron~

In relation to this thread, I would be think this to be HILARIOUS, but in light of what just happened in Japan, not so much.
I do enjoy your postings, though, and I'm happy that you're part of our group.
Peace,
Barry

RONALD RIML's picture

I'm pretty sure that.....

some (many) Reich-Wing Funda-Whacko Conserva-Christian Preacher(s) is(are) on the air right now in the Jezuz-Land Bible-Belt expounding on how the heathen Nipponese were visited with this sign from God for not accepting Christianity as their national religion....... No mention made, probably, of the myriad Catholic Martyrs crucified for their Papist intrigues.

 's picture

B/S

This is so full of B/S, it's ridiculous.Here we are at a point when the state of Maine is in the financial state it's in and we are playing around with stupid bills such as this.How much will this cost the taxpayers?
If you don't know which bathroom to use, then hold it until you get home.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Another politician who can't

Another politician who can't come up with anything meaningful to do, so he comes up with this lame brained solution to a non-problem.
If you can stand at a urinal and get the job done, you go to the men's room.
If you require a seat to accomplish the same end, you go to the ladie's room.
It doesn't matter what you're wearing for clothing.
Anything else is nothing but pure political pandering.

Barry King's picture

Kudos to you, Pirate!

I agree.
Peace,
Barry

Barry King's picture

I MADE A MISTAKE...

Pirate,
I evidently gave you more credit than you deserve. I've never agreed with ANYTHING you have posted in the past, but disregarding the second and third lines of the your posting on this subject, I agreed with your statement.

TO ALL OTHER READERS, I APOLOGIZE! I have quoted and ammended Pirates posting, below, to reflect what I erroneously believed to be the sentiment of his post. I should have known better.

"Another politician who can't come up with anything meaningful to do, so he comes up with this lame brained solution to a non-problem.......It doesn't matter what you're wearing for clothing. Anything else is nothing but pure political pandering."

I don't believe that this specific incident warrants legislation, other than an anti-discrimination law. If Maine's version is lacking protection for ALL people, including people of ALL sexual ORIENTATION, then it should be ammended. I lived in Key West for the better part of 20 years and I now live (temporarily) in Connecticut. In both places EVERYONE is protected equally.

Note that I chose the word ORIENTATION not PREFERENCE to describe what I believe to be INNATE sexual proclivities. I believe that individual sexual identities are a result of NATURE not NUTURE. Get real and THINK ABOUT IT, who would PREFER to live a life that exposes them to the ignorance, hatred, intolerance and abuse such as you espouse if they had a CHOICE?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Looks like Barry has a

Looks like Barry has a problem in deciding which door he wants to use.

Barry King's picture

I Am Many Things, Paul...

...but indecisive ISN'T one of them. I have always had the courage of my convictions, which is the greatest reason that I so adamantly supported LSJ's decision to require verification to publicly post in this forum.

I have opinions about everything and everyone, I don't always share them, but whenever I have, I have ALWAYS signed my name...even BEFORE the LSJ required it, Pirate.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Cool....

Cool....

RONALD RIML's picture

And it looks like you want to be a 'Doorman?'

Why so interested?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot sez we should go

The parrot sez we should go with the flow...

RONALD RIML's picture

And that's why you'll always need a paper copy of the

Daily Fish Wrap.... ;)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot sez he's tried

The parrot sez he's tried what the dog's doing,but just couldn't get it to work.

KENNETH JELLISON's picture

Missed voters rights on this one

What is missing in this story is that the people of Maine voted twice not to include the clause sexual preference in our discrimination law. The former dictators that made up our state government decided we didn't know what we were voting on and passed the law anyway. Bathrooms are labeled based on sex, and sex is dictated by nature, not a mental state. An orange is an orange even it wants to be a grapefruit!

Jeff Parshall's picture

What bathroom to use!

Are we really having this conversation! If the Maine Human Rights Commission is handling MORE of these kinds of case, work must be slow. When I first saw this story,I was amazed. How this ever made it to a court is beyond me.

This State and this Country has turned a corner where this type of obsurd story is even entertained. I certainly know which door to walk in when it's time use a facility!

RONALD RIML's picture

And it also appeared Brianna Freeman knew which door

to walk into. But Denny's decided they knew better than Briana.

And Ken Fredette says he knows better than people themselves what door they should walk into. How American we have all these 'Self-Appointed Door-Keepers' who know better than the person themself...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What happened to the days of

What happened to the days of "Setters" and "Pointers"?

RONALD RIML's picture

Then we wouldn't need soap and water in that washroom

of "Setters and Pointers," would we now, Pirate.......

And staff at Denny's would have to have a Chriropractor on duty........

Barry King's picture

I Think...

...You're an idiot, Pirate!
To paraphrase Shakespeare, "Me thinks thou doest protest too much."
Which one are YOU...a Setter or a Pointer?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Why, you looking to broaden

Why, you looking to broaden your horizons?

RONALD RIML's picture

It doesn't really matter......

My dawgs all pee at the same place

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Well, Barry, since you want

Well, Barry, since you want to take the name calling route, you're a leftist name calling twit. Me thinks thou may siteth to pee.

Barry King's picture

The Facts As They Are...

First of all, "siteth", if there was such a word, would be spelled "sitteth", but I'll grant you "artistic license" on that one.

Secondly, I would, by definition, be considered an Independent. I do, MOST OFTEN, identify with the viewpoints shared by the majority of Democrats, but I always vote the issue, not the party. I also, SOMETIMES agree with the viewpoints shared by the majority of Republicans, and I was a (first term) "Reagan Democrat", so you would be INCORRECT in assuming that I am a "leftist".

Next, by most standards, I am considered to be well educated and an eloquent, intelligent and well informed speaker, so your categorization of me as a "twit" would also be INCORRECT. If I were to be judged by a measure using you as a standard, I would be considered a genius.

And finally, if by your rather inane assumption of the position in which I urinate, you mean to insinuate that I am gay, then FINALLY YOU ARE CORRECT! I AM gay, I have ALWAYS BEEN gay and I ALWAYS WILL BE gay. What's your point?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I really do appreciate the

I really do appreciate the explanation, Barry. For a minute, there, I thought Tron had moved to Connecticut. As far as you being gay goes, I don't care one way or the other. Enjoy your life, man. Life is a short warm moment; death is a long cold sleep.

RONALD RIML's picture

My "Afterlife" is going to be an Eternity of Love & Fuzzy....

My Maker and I have had some discussions about that.......

I'm sorry your's didn't go so well. But it's not too late to change politics...... ;)

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

I wouldn't be surprised to

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Veritas and the Pirate pay homage to the same Maker.

RONALD RIML's picture

But same Maker

Different Discussion? Holy Batmobile, Ke Mo Sah Bee!

Barry King's picture

Cool...

Thanks, Paul! I really like your last line, I'd never heard that one before.
Peace,
B~

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Comes from an early Pink

Comes from an early Pink Floyd album, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

RONALD RIML's picture

He's Jealous. The Parrots always look so much better

on LOGO TV........

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