Here's a public service announcement to Gov. Paul LePage and the good ol' boys he's palling around with in the latest ideological lawsuit to deny civil rights: It's not transgender women us girls are afraid of - it's you.
Stay out of our bathrooms and our bedrooms. Keep your creepy hands off our Bibles, and stop snooping around in our doctor's office. Instead of "protecting" us with your bigotry and sexism, spend our taxpayer dollars on something worthwhile. Learn the difference between a Republic and a Republican, for starters, and actually represent us for a change.
Surely you've heard about the lawsuit filed in Texas this week by 11 red states challenging the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education rules prohibiting discrimination in public schools against transgender students.
You know, the one spearheaded by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who's under indictment for criminal securities fraud? LePage claims he joined the case in his "individual capacity," but he's obviously confused. The lawsuit identifies him plainly in black and white as "Paul LePage, in his official capacity as Governor of Maine," and this matters. It's a violation of Maine law, in addition to being patently offensive.
(A guy confused about his own legal identity suing to allow discrimination in public bathrooms based on gender identity? The irony isn't lost - even on us women and little girls.)
When an elected official sues in his or her "official capacity," it's the equivalent of the office itself being the party to the lawsuit. In his official capacity, LePage is the state of Maine. He represents all of us. That's how a democratic republic works - our power to self-govern is vested in the people we elect to representative us, and they are supposed to exercise that power according to the rule of law.
Maine law says "the Attorney General shall appear before the departments and tribunals of the United States and the committees of Congress to prosecute all claims of the State against the United States."
In other words, by law, only the attorney general can appear in lawsuits for the state of Maine, so LePage appearing in his official capacity without being represented by the AG as the "state" is a violation of the law. Some could even argue this is a misdemeanor in office - but put aside the process question and legal jargon about official capacity versus individual capacity. The lawsuit at its core is about states' rights, right? Doesn't the state of Maine have the right under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to decide for itself whether transgender students can use the public restrooms that match their gender identity?
Yes, we do. And yes, we did.
The Maine Legislature enacted a statute making discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal, and thereafter specifically rejected a proposed law that would do exactly what the Texas lawsuit seeks to do - namely force people to use the bathroom that matches the sex assigned to them at birth. Maine's highest court has ruled discrimination against transgender students who want to use a public bathroom that matches their gender identity is a violation of the Maine Human Rights Act. The people of the state voted decisively for inclusion and against discrimination on gay marriage. Maine has decisively come down on the side of civil rights at the ballot box, in the Legislature and in the courts.
What exactly do LePage and the good ol' boys not understand about democracy and the rule of law?
LePage is not only technically violating Maine law by appearing in his official capacity, he's fighting for our right to decide what we've already decided, but who cares? We aren't paying for it - the good taxpayers of Texas are willing to pick up the tab for the litigation, right? The Texas Attorney General's Office hired a "special" litigator, Austin Nimocks, who has an impressive list of right-wing cases he's fought and lost. What's the harm to us?
How about the sour and sickening smell of welfare hypocrites - like pigs at a trough.
Transgender people are not confused by their identity, they just don't want to be discriminated against because of it. The good ol' boys are the ones who are confused about their role in the evolving world and they clearly have issues with sexuality and power. And apparently bathrooms.
Most women and little girls don't care about transgender women and girls using the bathroom because nobody has ever been the victim of a sexual assault by a transgender woman in the bathroom. We've got more pressing things to be concerned about - like the epidemic of sexual assault in homes, on college campuses and in the military. One in five women report being raped, and overwhelmingly sexual assault is committed by family members and acquaintances.
Women and girls fear violence perpetrated by criminals, and I'll take a trans woman in the stall next to me over a good ol' boy any day.