Lawmaker Wants Legislature To Decide Transgender Issues 

A state lawmaker wants legislators to weigh in on what rest rooms transgendered students should use.A bill by Representative Ken Freddette of Newport would let the operator of a restroom or shower facility to decide who gets to use it.In 2008 the Maine Human Rights Commission ruled the Orono school department discriminated against a male student, who dressed as a female, and wanted to use the girls’ bathroom. The commission agreed last year to work with the Department of Education to form guidelines for how to accommodate transgender students in bathrooms and locker rooms. Fredette says elected officials should be dealing with the issue not five people on a commission. “The issue is that the agency, the Maine Human Rights Commission, has had an opportunity to have a say on it. The courts ultimately will have a say on the Orono case. This is an opportunity for the legislature to have some say on how these sorts of issues should be looked at in the future,” says Fredette.Fredette served on the Maine Human Rights Commission when the vote was taken on the Orono case. He was appointed to the commission by former Governor John Baldacci.