Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Use the Wrong Pronouns and You're Out"

Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government

January 3, 2011

Citizens ask Maryland State Ethics Commission to Correct

  "Use the Wrong Pronouns and You're Out" Ruling

by Montgomery Co. Ethics Commission 


The Maryland State Ethics Commission has been asked by Maryland Citizens for Responsible Government (MCRG) to review a Montgomery County Ethics Commission (MCEC) decision which protects Gender Identity confusion over reality. MCRG claims that MCEC's decision was flawed by MCEC's refusal to consider testimony from key witnesses simply because they used pronouns that correctly identified birth sex. In denying the credibility of these witnesses, it appears that MCEC issued a decision based on its own personal bias instead of relying on the ethics law.


Per MCRG's newly filed complaint, MCEC illegally revised the County's ethics code to arrive at its decision, denying MCRG due process under the law.  The controversial decision could enable any Montgomery County public employee "off the clock" to harass and intimidate citizens engaging in political activity.

In its complaint filed with the Maryland State Ethics Commission, MCRG is asking for a complete review of the Montgomery County Ethics Commission's decision,  

reached earlier last year, to dismiss ethics violations against Dana Beyer, M.D., a former Montgomery County Council employee and special assistant to former Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg. According to the complaint, the four-member County Ethics Commission blatantly misinterpreted the County's ethics law, going so far as to create non-existent stipulations and requirements.


For example, the County Ethics Code (Sec. 19A-14(e)) reads: "A public employee must not intimidate, threaten, coerce or discriminate against any person for the purpose of interfering with that person's freedom to engage in political activity." However, in its decision, the County Commission, added the conditional words "as a function of being on the job, self-identifying as a public employee, or entailing the prestige of office" to the end of this provision. The County Commission did not, says the MCRG, cite any legislative authority or legal precedent to justify its sudden rewriting of the County's public ethics law. 


The original MCRG ethics complaint lodged with the County against Dr. Beyer charged that Beyer repeatedly violated County ethics laws by harassing and intimidating participants in a citizen-driven referendum effort to place the County's controversial "gender identity" law on the ballot. According to the complaint, Beyer also misused her power and position at the Montgomery County Council. Beyer, as an aide to then County Council Member Duchy Trachtenberg and vice president of Equality Maryland, a gay and transgender advocacy group, was repeatedly hailed as one of the chief architects of the law.


"The Montgomery County Ethics Commission ignored transcripts of 911 calls,  

a video, and numerous affidavits detailing the harassment; it suddenly revised the law on its own initiative and without any authority to do so in its problem riddled ruling," said Dr. Ruth Jacobs, MCRG President. "The Ethics Commission also rejected key testimony of witnesses simply because they used pronouns which reflected Beyer's own gender confusion," said Jacobs.  "If the Commission wasn't acting out of personal bias, why should it question the truthfulness of everyday Americans who were simply being honest about gender?" 


Dr. Dana Beyer was born as Wayne Beyer, lived as a male throughout his youth, married a woman as an adult, and fathered two sons. In his forties, Wayne Beyer became a transgender woman, and legally changed his name to Dana.


Because of the harassment by Beyer and other Equality Maryland members, the gender identity bill became law despite the request for a referendum by Montgomery County residents who wanted to vote on the proposed law. The "gender identity" law was used by Beyer in a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the County which Beyer eventually dropped.   Beyer has been quoted as stating, "I helped craft the bill, and I'm the first person to use it...That's a delicious irony."(Gazette, Nov. 18, 2009) 


"The MCEC's startling decision allows Dana Beyer and any other public employee to harass and intimidate citizens with a purpose to interfere with their freedom to engage in political activity," stated Dr. Jacobs. "How can citizens trust their government if the law is rewritten whenever the County Ethics Commission feels a personal and biased need to do so?  Therefore the purpose of the MCRG complaint is to ensure that all citizens have due process under the law in Montgomery County, Maryland."


The members of the Montgomery County Ethics Commission consist of:   

Nina A. Weisbroth, Kenita V. Barrow, Antar C. Johnson and Stuart Rick

Maryland Citizens for a Responsible Government



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