Yesterday I testified against a bill in the Maine legislature that would repeal anti-discrimination protections for our transgender neighbors.  The Bangor Daily News captured the emotion of the day well in this article.  They quoted Wayne Maines, a military veteran, a certified gun instructor, and a father of a transgender girl.

"“Like many of you I doubted transgender children could exist,” he said. “However I never doubted my love for my child.”

Maines’ 13-year-old daughter knew she was a girl at age 6, even though she’d been born a boy, he said. She was happy and her friends accepted her. But by fifth grade things got scary and the family had to “go into hiding” to protect the girl.

“‘She came to me crying and asked, ‘Daddy, what did I do wrong? Daddy, please fix this.’ That’s what dads do, we fix things. I had to break her heart and say, ‘You have not done anything wrong sweetie, but Mommy and I do not know how to fix this,’” Maines said Tuesday, crying. “This bill places transgender children in a position of doom and hopelessness.”

He's right.  And furthermore, this bill would open businesses up to legal liability from both sides.  As a restaurant owner said to me over the weekend, "I don't want to be in the business of trying to determine a customer's gender."  In 2005 Maine voters passed Maine Won't Discriminate.  LD 1046 creates an exception to that law for transgender individuals with regards to public accomodations.  There can be no exception for discrimination.  The Maine legislature should protect transgender Mainers, protect businesses and schools from liability, and reject LD 1046.