FRC's Peter Sprigg Testifies Before Massachusetts Legislature on State SOGI Bill

FRC’s Peter Sprigg Testifies Before Massachusetts Legislature on State SOGI Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 6, 2015
CONTACT: J.P. Duffy or Alice Chao, (866) FRC-NEWS or (866)-372-6397

BOSTON, MA – Family Research Council Senior Fellow Peter Sprigg testified today before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary of the Massachusetts General Court. Sprigg expressed opposition to House Bill 1577, which raises serious privacy concerns by adding “gender identity” as a protected class for public accommodations in the state.

Sprigg was a former resident of Massachusetts and was an aide to U.S. Rep. Robert Drinan (D-MA) in his district office in Waltham.Sprigg testified in part:

“I urge you to oppose House Bill 1577. I want to point out that under this bill, assertion of a transgender identity is not dependent on the completion of gender reassignment surgery. Rep. Barney Frank, a former member of this legislature and openly gay former member of Congress, once warned (this is a direct quote except for one word), ‘I’ve talked with transgender activists and what they want—and what we will be forced to defend—is for people with [male sex organs] who identify as women to be able to shower with other women.’

“Because of this concern, a version of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act introduced by Congressman Frank in 2007 contained an exemption for ‘shared shower or dressing facilities in which being seen fully unclothed is unavoidable.’  This is consistent with federal court precedent, which has stated, ‘Shielding one’s unclothed figure from the view of strangers, particularly strangers of the opposite sex, is impelled by elementary self-respect and personal dignity.’ 

“However, House Bill 1577—which would apply to ‘a rest room...bathhouse, seashore facilities or swimming pool’ and to a ‘fitness facility’—contains no such exemption. It is shocking that this bill gives no consideration to the legitimate concern many citizens have about being exposed to, or exposing themselves to, a person of the opposite biological sex.

“It would be irrational to elevate subjective ‘gender identity’ above objective biological sex in public accommodations law. I urge you to oppose House Bill 1577,” Sprigg concluded.

Sprigg’s full testimony can be found here: http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF15J24.pdf

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