The Westford Republican Town Committee strongly opposes the passage of House Bill 4253, “An Act Relative to Gender Identity and Nondiscrimination.” This bill modifies a law passed in 2011 affording rights and protections on the basis of male and female to that of gender identity. The new law recognizes one’s feelings, a legal concept the Attorney General is struggling to define. Gender can now be variable.
The “Bathroom Bill” affects all public spaces, from Westford Academy restrooms, the Westford Regency locker room, Marshall’s fitting rooms to the local Dunkin Donuts. Segregation by gender will no longer be legal. What’s more, law enforcement, school officials and small-business employees will be prohibited from addressing any individual who makes others uncomfortable in conventionally private spaces.
The bill opens a number of negative possibilities that could endanger the frail and offend the rights of the general public. Safety is of paramount importance along with the constitutional rights to privacy and religious freedom. It is an affront to the concept of modesty as practiced by the world’s major religions. The Bathroom Bill intrudes on how private businesses are to conduct commerce, as they deem appropriate.
HB 4253 has not been a historically debated or a wide spread civil rights issue as it affects less than three tenths of one percent of the population. This overreaching legislation is an overnight cultural shift in thinking and behavior. This rushed, poorly written, ill-thought-out type of legislation omits the most important stakeholders in such a drastic change, the voter. It is wrong for the Massachusetts Legislature to unilaterally tell us how we are to live.
The Westford Republican Town Committee urges all greater Lowell citizens to contact their representative (in Westford contact James.Arciero@mahouse.gov) and oppose HB 4253.
Westford Republican Town Committee members