Known as LD 1096, the measure would have allowed businesses and schools to adopt their own policies to would restrict restroom use for transgender people, in addition to barring them from filing discrimination lawsuits under the Maine Human Rights Act when they were denied access to the restroom of their choice.
The bill was a response to a controversial lawsuit filed by the family of a transgender elementary student in Orono, Maine, who was born male but identified as female. The student was allowed to use the girls' restroom until the family of another student complained, leading the school to restrict the transgender student's restroom use. The state Human Rights Commission found that the school discriminated against the transgender student.
State representative Kenneth Fredette, however, thought it would be too easy for transgender people to claim discrimination, leading him to introduce LD 1096. Others, such as Rep. Emily Cain, said its passage "would be a step backward for Maine." The House voted down the bill Tuesday by a margin of 81 to 61.
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