In regards to a recent column, “Bathrooms a big deal in transgender rules debate” (March 10):

Greg Kesich makes some good points in his commentary. Disrupting a meeting is unhelpful; having a public hearing before adopting guidelines would be very helpful. And obviously, it should be a meeting with less screaming and more listening (by both the public and the Human Rights Commission).

At the same time, his essay seems terribly one-sided. It’s not just the feelings or safety of transgender students that are at stake. Maine human rights laws are designed not just to protect minorities, but to protect all citizens.

The 2005 addition of “sexual orientation” to the Maine human rights laws included “gender identity or expression” – but leaves that undefined. The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) recognizes gender identity disorder. Does the law intend to protect a recognized mental disorder? Did the people of Maine really understand what they were voting for?

Because the law is now in place, parents of children and adolescents, as well as students in Maine schools, have a right to public discussion of and input on the proposed guidelines.

To accept input from lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender lobbies and not from all citizens is simply foolishness.

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