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Maine lawmakers defeat attempt to repeal transgender protections

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The Maine legislature has voted against legislation to take away existing protections for transgender people when accessing appropriate public restrooms and other facilities by repealing part of the Maine Human Rights Act.

The Maine House of Representatives on June 7 voted 81 to 61 against “An Act to Amend the Application of the Maine Human Rights Act Regarding Public Accommodations.” The state’s Senate voted 23 to 11 to kill the bill the next day.

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“We’re very pleased that the legislature rejected this attempt to insert discrimination into the Maine Human Rights Act by rolling back vital protections for transgender people that had existed for nearly six years,” said Jennifer Levi, director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project. “With these votes the legislature has sent a strong bipartisan message reaffirming that all Mainers, including transgender Mainers, must be treated equally under the law, and with dignity and respect.”

“This is an important, historic victory for the transgender community,” Levi added. “LD 1046 marked the first effort to repeal established protections for transgender people. It was also first time we’ve had to defend against a bill exclusively focused on denying transgender people access to gender-appropriate bathrooms and locker rooms.”

Two months ago, Chrissy Lee Polis, a 22-year-old transgender woman, was brutally beaten by two teens as she entered the women’s rest room at a Baltimore-area McDonald’s.

The Maine legislature amended the Maine Human Rights Act in 2005 to protected transgender peoples’ right to access public accommodations.

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