Ex-GOP Operative Spearheading Repeal of Massachusetts Transgender Law Championed by State GOP

The so-called "bathroom battle" erupted after North Carolina in March became the first US state to require transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings that match the sex on their birth certificate

Chanel Prunier was once the GOP national committeewoman for the State of Massachusetts but now she’s working to repeal a transgender-friendly bill signed into law by her own Republican Governor.

Prunier, who was the state’s national committeewoman until this spring, is now the chairwoman of Keep Massachusetts Safe, a ballot initiative that intends to undo Republican Governor Charlie Baker’s “bathroom bill.”

The controversial new law effectively ends single-sex bathrooms in the state by allowing people who say they are transgender to use any bathroom or locker room they want at any given time.

Baker signed the law on July 8 while insisting that “No one should be discriminated against because of their gender identity,” and boasting that the bill he signed was a “compromise” which “extends additional protections to our transgender residents.”

The state Republican Party has also used the new law to burnish its progressive bonafides.

But despite that her own party had championed the “compromise” bill, Prunier says the law presents a danger to the public and must be repealed.

The organization she now spearheads hopes to gather enough signatures to place the question of a repeal on the 2018 ballot for the state’s voters to decide.

Massachusetts GOP spokesman Terry MacCormack recently issued a statement saying the party supports the ballot initiative process.

Breitbart News spoke to Prunier and asked her what the initiative’s goals are.

Firstly, the social conservative described Baker’s law as one that “defies common sense.”

The Bathroom and Locker room law as passed here in MA is one of the most expansive gender identity laws in the country. The bill contains the potential for fines or jail time for those who might inadvertently impede a transgender person’s access to a public accommodation. It contains no explicit penalties for its misuse. It contains no exemptions from its protections for sex offenders. So if an officer, concerned business owner, or father tries to stop a convicted sex offender from entering the women’s locker room at the gym, HE will be the one prosecuted as violating the sex offender’s “civil right” to use the women’s locker room.

Prunier also worried that the bill does not work to protect police officers or business owners who might try to “investigate whether or not a person is improperly asserting a claim of gender identity access under the law.”

The law also has no provision to protect religious people, Prunier says. “There are no provisions for religious exemption of any kind,” she told Breitbart. “In fact, the attorney general’s website guidance on the issue indicates churches are places where the bathroom provisions would apply, and churches couldn’t stop men from using the ladies room.”

Her “Keep Massachusetts Safe” initiative says there is no requirement for proving a transgender person really is what he or she say they are. Apparently the only requirement is the “sincerely held belief” of the person claiming to be transgender. “No medical diagnosis, or hormone treatment, note from a doctor or psychiatrist, etc. is needed, simply a declaration,” she said.

“So to be [successfully] denied access,” Prunier told Breitbart, “a person must be proven to not sincerely believe his or her gender identity assertion.

The activist added that the new transgender law is wholly unnecessary because transgender people were already protected under previous state laws. “Discrimination against those with gender identity disorder was already prohibited in housing, employment, education, and included in our hate crimes statutes,” Prunier said.

There are further dangers.

This additional law opens the door for access specifically to lawfully sex-segregated facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms and changing rooms at retail establishments, which were intentionally left out of the previous 2011 bill. The dangers to women’s safety and privacy and the potential for the law to be exploited by those with ill intent are great.

Finally, Prunier reacted to charges that she and her organization are out of step with most Massachusetts voters.

“Massachusetts voters possess a lot of common sense, and want to protect women from privacy violations, ” Prunier insisted. “They also don’t want to create loopholes that are advantageous to sex offenders. This law is very radical, and most people agree when educated about the provisions of it, that it goes way too far and should be repealed.”

The Keep Massachusetts Safe initiative needs over 38,000 signatures by the end of September for the ballot question to end up on the November ballot in 2018.


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