OTTAWA, Ontario, November 23, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Last year, Donna Miller took a visit to the ladies’ room at a restaurant while with her sister in North Carolina. But as it turned out, this was no routine bathroom trip.
As she opened the stall to wash and return to her table, she was shocked to find a man urinating in the opposite stall. “He left the door open and he just stood up in front of the toilet. It was directly across from mine, so it was very intentional, in your face,” she said. “It was totally shocking.”
The incident prompted Miller, who is an issues specialist with Concerned Women for America North Carolina, to do some research. She discovered that “bathroom attacks” – where, most often, a woman is attacked in a public bathroom by a man who followed her in or hid inside – are unfortunately very common. “I think people would be surprised at how many attacks really are going on,” she said.
But while the government should be working to protect women from these kinds of incidents, Miller told LifeSiteNews that legislation like Canada’s Bill C-389 – a private members bill seeking to enshrine protections based on “gender identity” and “gender expression” – will actually further endanger women.
“The gender identity bills will put more men in bathrooms,” she explained. “We’re having tremendous problems with bathroom attacks already. Why would you allow more boys in girl’s bathrooms?”
“All they have to do is say they’re expressing their feminine side,” she continued. “Right now when you see a man in a women’s bathroom, a red flag goes up. There’s somebody here that shouldn’t be here. But that wouldn’t happen when this becomes commonplace.”
Pro-family leaders in Canada have raised similar alarms about Bill C-389, which sailed through committee this month and could see a vote in the House of Commons in December. If passed, the bill will add “gender identity” and “gender expression” as prohibited grounds for discrimination to the Canada Human Rights Act and as identifiable groups in the Criminal Code’s hate crimes legislation.
Campaign Life Coalition national president Jim Hughes warned that the bill will give sexual predators “legitimized access” to women’s bathrooms. “Imagine a young girl – your daughter or granddaughter – goes into a washroom and finds a man there,” he said. “How is the young girl to determine whether or not the man in the bathroom is a ‘peeping tom,’ a rapist or a pedophile?”
Several women have been killed in the United States in bathroom attacks, and there have been numerous reports of attacks in Canada as well.
In October an Ottawa man was sentenced to three years in prison after assaulting a 15-year-old in the women’s bathroom at Nepean High School. He grabbed her from behind, covered her mouth, and forced her to the ground. After she screamed, and bit and kicked him, he fled. The man eventually turned himself in.
In Halifax last fall, a woman was assaulted in a public women’s bathroom at the downtown Park Lane Mall. The man, who carried a sharp object, had hid in one of the stalls. He ran out after nearby restaurant workers rushed over in response to the woman’s screams.
Pro-family leaders point out that organizations like the American College of Pediatricians treat gender confusion as a mental illness, meaning Canadian law would recognize a mental disorder as normal. This could, they say, make it even harder for children and others who struggle with gender identity disorder (GID) to obtain treatment.
They also warn that the federal government will be forced to hire gender-confused individuals, which could cause big problems for the military and the RCMP, for example. The government could even be required to pay for sex-change operations, and businesses could be obliged to hire transsexuals or install washrooms to accommodate cross-dressers.
Miller warned of the potential psychological damage to young girls if men are allowed in women’s dressing rooms. “If you go to your local Y and have a shower,” she mentioned, for example. “Guys aren’t always modest, and whether they are feeling feminine or not, they very much are out there, you know. They don’t have the same sensibilities that women do, as far as modesty.”
“Many of them don’t go through the sex change operation,” she added. “They often are still male from the waist down.”
The bill has been opposed by many religious and pro-family organizations including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Campaign Life Coalition, REAL Women of Canada, and the Canada Family Action Coalition.
They have called on all people of good will to urge their MPs to oppose the bill when it comes up for a vote.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper
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Justice Minister Rob Nicholson
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