Transgender rules draw controversy

I am a fourth-generation Mainer and was raised in the belief that our cultural way of life allows all peoples to live freely without interference or condemnation from others.

The present flap over guidelines for transgender students flies in the face of this basic tenet of fairness and equality that is so much part of being a Mainer. Transgender students deserve the right to safety and fairness the rest of us enjoy as part of our daily lives. The guidelines being considered insure the respect, dignity and safety for transgender students supported by law as well as our unique cultural perspective.

As a retired child therapist, I can assure you that transgender students do not live lives of “private delusions,” as Fritz Spencer of the Christian Civic League suggested in a recent column (“Proposed transgender rules would cross a line into parental rights,” Feb. 20), but live real lives filled with the same hopes and dreams as the rest of us.

The guidelines offer a safe and supportive environment for transgender students that all Maine schools should offer to all students.

Nick McKenney



The Maine Human Rights Commission has decided that it wants more public input before it issues its “transgendered guidelines” to Maine schools. What a magnanimous decision and gesture – especially since the public has heretofore been completely shut out from any input on this unhealthy proposal.

As a member of the public, I have a few questions to put before the commission: Is it true that boys will be able to use girls’ bathrooms just because these boys just might “perceive” themselves to be girls?

What is the actual purpose behind this proposal? Whom do these proposed guidelines really serve? And where is the groundswell of support of people clamoring for transgendered bathrooms? (That certainly wasn’t what I sensed at the meeting.)

It’s hard to believe that this commission is being asked to even consider such an idea. It defies reality; it defies reason; and it certainly is not for the good of Maine schoolchildren!

Not to mention the complete disregard for their safety that the commission would be exhibiting should this ruling take effect. Its objective concern, therefore, must be for the children’s well-being — not for accommodating the homosexual agenda.

I wonder how many people know that the “Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders” played a major role in writing these guidelines. To accommodate them, must the commission sacrifice our schoolchildren as fodder for their grist mill?

This is not San Francisco. This is not Los Angeles. This is Maine! These onerous and dim-witted guidelines must be rejected.

Pat Truman



If a woman pretended to be blind and dressed her dog up as a seeing eye dog so that she could take it into restaurants, would we revoke the ability of blind individuals to bring seeing eye dogs at restaurants? No.

If a man pretended to be deaf in order to receive government money to get a texting device, would we end the government aid program to provide deaf individuals access to telecommunication devices that work for them? No.

We do not stop providing aid and dispensations to individuals who legitimately need them because certain others might try to abuse the situation for their own illegitimate ends.

Yet as the Maine Human Rights Commission discusses the legitimate needs of individuals whom the medical community has recognized as having gender identity disorder, the opponents of such work continually argue that we cannot give individuals with legitimate needs aid and dispensation because someone might abuse the system.

The aid and dispensation awarded to members of the transgender community by the MHRC should be dictated by their needs according to the therapy prescribed to them by the licensed medical practitioners from whom they receive care, not by the irrational fears of individuals who have no relationship to or understanding of the transgendered community.

If we wish to create a society in which people are not discriminated against due to legitimate clinically recognized disorders that have viable FDA-sanctioned treatments and cures, this ideal must be lived out in our school systems.

Ben Garren



The people of Maine won a small victory last week by attending a meeting of the Maine Human Rights Commission in Augusta.

The meeting was scheduled to discuss guidelines in public schools for transgendered students. Although the public was invited to this meeting, they were not invited to participate.

Some people decided to participate anyway, and I believe they helped influence the commission to postpone a vote on the transgendered guidelines until they have received comment from the public at a public hearing. No date has been set for the public hearing, but I have heard it will be sometime in May.

Several people, including Paul Madore of the Maine Grassroots Coalition and myself, spoke of the unfortunate violence these guidelines will provoke. A female teacher with 25 years experience in the public schools said the guidelines will provoke violence between students.

Bob Celeste and others stated the obvious, that these proposed guidelines have more to do with recruitment into the homosexual lifestyle than with human rights.

Conspicuously absent from the meeting were some “pro-family organizations” that do not want to publicly oppose the homosexual rights lobby or address issues of homosexuality.

Alan Lowberg



In the Feb. 24 Press Herald, a very troubling article appeared buried on an inside page. In it, the Maine Human Rights Commission announced it will consider advising schools “to let transgender students dress, play sports and choose bathrooms based on the gender with which they identify, rather than their birth gender.”

In this world dominated by political correctness and exultation over the ever-expanding individual right of the minority to the detriment of the greater good of the majority, someone has to step up and insist on some common sense.

If my 14-year-old daughter is forced to share a locker room with “transgender” boys, or if each school is forced to incur the cost of building additional locker rooms for transgender boys and girls, it is time for the silent and predominately unrepresented majority to stand up and be heard.

Should some school administrator actually have the backbone to defy this advice, I would be thrilled to defend that district or administrator in a suit claiming discrimination.

Michael K. Martin

Cumberland Foreside


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