In 2011, LD 1046 is a bill on Public Accommodations that is completely unecessary, starts a chipping away at the 2005 Human Rights Act and violates everyone's right to use a bathroom or other public facilities. EqualityMaine, GLAD and our coalition partners strongly oppose this proposed legislation. Sign our petition to express your outrage and get involved!
History of Transgender Issues in Maine
In 2005 EqualityMaine helped pass legislation to protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in employment, housing, education, credit and public accommodations. When this legislation took effect, Maine was the sixth state in the country to enact non-discrimination protections that includes gender identity and expression.
See also: Non-Discrimination.
In 2007, several bills aimed at transgender people were introduced in the Maine Legislature. These included a bill proposed by one of the most anti-equality legislators in the state, Rep. Brian Duprey (R-Hampden). EqualityMaine moved swiftly to quash these efforts, which would have made it a crime for a person to use a public restroom designated for use by a gender other than the gender the person was assigned at birth.
Also in 2007, we advocated for a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act in Congress and were successful in lobbying one of our two congressmen to vote against the bill because it did not include trans protections.
In 2008, EqualityMaine and Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) hosted a widely-attended forum for Maine’s transgender community. Trans-identified community members and activists gathered to brainstorm and help articulate priorities for affecting public policy on issues of concern to the transgender community in Maine. A broad list of categories were developed that included health care, education, safety, legal, law enforcement, employment, and resources and community support.
Thanks in part to the valuable insight provided at the forum, EqualityMaine and GLAD are better equipped to begin a concerted, coordinated and informed campaign to change public policy on trans-related issues in Maine, which we will carry out in the coming years.