It’s one thing that the Massachusetts House of Representatives has passed a bill that would open all public restrooms, showers, and changing facilities to members of the opposite biological sex. Eighteen other states and the District of Columbia have already done the same. It’s quite another that the Bay State legislature shot down an amendment that would prevent convicted sex offenders from accessing the facilities of the opposite sex.
The bill (H. 4343) passed the state House 116-36. It is now headed to the desk of Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who is expected to sign it, having told the Boston Globe that “no one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity.”
Along the way, lawmakers rejected 36 proposed amendments, one of which was to ban level 2 or 3 sex offenders from using facilities “that are not consistent with their assigned sex.”
The state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security defines a level 2 offender as representing a moderate risk. The “degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a public safety interest is served by public availability of registration information.”
A level 3 offender is the most dangerous:
Where the Board determines that the risk of reoffense is high and the degree of dangerousness posed to the public is such that a substantial public safety interest is served by active dissemination, it shall give a level 3 designation to the sex offender.
What is hard to fathom in light of these definitions is why the government of Massachusetts finds no compelling reason to banish these individuals, and especially level 3 offenders, from entering facilities where putative victims will be in varying states of undress.
Andrew Beckwith, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, has said:
What is truly disturbing is the House’s absolute refusal to accept any amendments which might have provided safeguards for women and children in places like locker rooms or public showers. The bill as passed allows registered sex offenders to claim a gender identity in order to access whatever bathroom they want.
The bill does not exempt churches or women’s shelters from having to yield to the demands of a man claiming to be a woman.
Among opponents of the bill in the House was Marc Lombardo (R), who said:
This bill would take away the rights for more than 99% of the population, the rights of our children to feel safe in the bathroom, the rights of teenage girls to not have to shower in front of teenage boys.
Another was Rep. James Lyons, who claimed:
This [bill] has absolutely nothing to do with discrimination. It has everything to do with changing our society and social engineering by those on the Left.