The website MDPetitions.com, founded by Maryland Republican delegate Neil Parrott, has a new petition making false claims about the state's recently passed transgender-inclusive non-discrimination act, and calling for a referendum vote, as reported by The Advocate. The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.
MDPetitions.com urges visitors to "sign this petition to send the 'Bathroom Bill' — aka the 'Fairness for All Marylanders Act' — to the ballot in November so that the people can decide." The website goes on to misrepresent both the bill's intent as well as its likely outcome.
To combat the repeal effort, the Maryland Coalition for Transgender Equality launched "Stand for Fairness," a campaign designed to educate the public on the positive aspects of the law, and debunk any falsehoods pushed by the bill's opponents.
To qualify for the ballot, opponents of the bill will have to hit two benchmarks: they will need to gather 18,500 valid signatures by May 31, then if they meet that, must collect a total of 55,736 signatures by June 30. Should opponents receive the necessary number of valid signatures, voters will have the opportunity to determine the bill's fate this November.
In March, a Goucher College poll found that 71 percent of the state's residents supported the Fairness for all Marylanders Act.