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AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Human Rights Commission decided Monday that a transgender woman was discriminated against at a Denny’s restaurant in Auburn when management would not let her use the ladies room until she had sex reassignment surgery.

While the lawyer representing the Denny’s owners said that the 3-2 decision could have far-reaching, negative consequences for all Maine businesses with shared restroom facilities, it was hailed as a civil rights victory by the Maine Civil Liberties Union and advocacy organization Equality Maine.

“It’s important to know that people have rights, including transgender [people], and that businesses are not free to discriminate,” said Zachary Heiden, the legal director of the MCLU.

Heiden said that many people make the faulty assumption that being transgender is mostly about genitals.

“That’s a part of it, but the essence of who they are is not what their genitals look like,” he said.

The incident in question happened on Oct. 25, 2007, when Brianna Freeman of Lewiston — formerly known as Bruce — used a locked stall in the ladies room while “dressed clearly” as a woman, according to the investigator’s report. Efforts to reach Freeman were unsuccessful.

Another customer complained to the manager about sharing a public restroom with a man, said attorney Chad Cloutier, who represents the Rockport company Realty Resources Hospitality LLC. The company owns and operates six Denny’s family restaurants, Cloutier said.

“The customer was very upset, was irate, had threatened to call police,” he said. “A few days later, management decided that it would be in the best interest of Denny’s to ask the customer to use the men’s room until sex reassignment surgery.”

Freeman was a regular customer of the restaurant. After being banned from the ladies room, Freeman filed a complaint with the commission on April 17, 2008.

Cloutier argued to the commission that a discrimination decision would require that Maine businesses essentially decide whether a person is transgender or if they might want to use a particular restroom or locker room for purposes of “sexual perversion.” Making this accommodation is a violation of a woman’s right to privacy, he said in a press release, as well as a “significant risk to the health and safety of [the restaurant’s] customers, particularly children.”

“It’s almost an untenable position for businesses,” he said. “It really is a slippery slope. This claimant may be perfectly safe and use the bathroom in a perfectly normal way, but what’s to prevent a person of some devious intent ... the right not to share a bathroom?”

Betsy Smith, executive director of Equality Maine, strongly disagreed.

“How does it pose a risk to children that someone uses the bathroom? That assumes that that person somehow harms children,” she said. “It’s so outrageously discriminatory.”

Smith said that forcing a transgender woman to use a men’s room is not safe.

“This company needs diversity training to understand what it means to be gender-nonconforming,” she said. Kevin LaBree, the vice president and director of operations for Realty Resources Hospitality, said that he was just concerned about the comfort and care of his guests.

“Denny’s is a family restaurant chain,” he said. “I am going to do what’s in the best interest of my customers.”

Take a look at the comments and you'll see how silly many people sound about threats to fear and safety, but its a democracy and I love the fact that a civic debate took place with over 300 comments. Also, transgender people may/do have rights in many jurisdictions although they don't on the federal level and in many states, its changing but rights don't spread calmly primarly due to religious folks who want to impose their beliefs or agenda on others or "perceived alarm or discomfort".

Bangor Daily News

5/30/09 | 102 comments

Transgender woman reveals difficulties

By Abigail Curtis

BDN Staff

LEWISTON, Maine — Brianna Freeman, a transgender woman who lived the first four decades of her life as a man, said she knows firsthand about the pain caused by discrimination.

And when management at an Auburn Denny’s restaurant wouldn’t allow her to use the women’s restroom until she had sex reassignment surgery, she felt compelled to file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission.

“I understand the safety concerns, but not in a case like mine, or for people like me,” Freeman, 44, said Thursday in a telephone interview.

“We don’t want any problems for anyone else,” she said. “We just want to live the lives we feel we should be living.”

The Maine Human Rights Commission decided May 20 in Freeman’s favor, saying that Freeman was discriminated against after a 2007 incident when she used a locked stall in the women’s restroom while dressed as a woman, according to the investigator’s report. Another customer complained to management, which decided to disallow Freeman from using the women’s restroom until she had completed surgery.

“Denny’s is a family restaurant chain,” Kevin LaBree, the vice president and director of operations for Realty Resources Hospitality, told the Bangor Daily News earlier this month. “I am going to do what’s in the best interest of my customers.”

But Freeman said that she’s a customer, too.

“Of the thousands of people who go through this place every day, only one person complained to the management,” she said. “I go to a lot of other places and I’m accepted as a female. It makes me feel more complete.”

She said that safety, too, was a very real concern of hers. She knows a cross-dressing man who was attacked while inside a public men’s restroom, and that’s a worry.

“It’s even more of a dangerous situation,” she said. “I’m being put at more of a risk.”

Identification issue

Maine driver’s licenses now have identification categories of male and female, but why not add a third category — T for transgender, Freeman suggested. That way restaurants wouldn’t have to wonder whether, for example, a biological man who wants to use the women’s restroom has licit or illicit purposes in mind.

“This law doesn’t give a blanket right to every person out there to don the clothes of the opposite sex and just check people out,” Freeman said.

Angel Loredo, the associate dean of students at the University of Maine, said the campus has made efforts to create more single-stalled, gender-neutral restrooms for transgender students.

“We have really tried to help and be on track with opening doors to individuals as they come to campus,” Loredo said. “I think that in an educational institution, it’s important that students have the opportunity to express what they feel ... We’ve been accommodating to them, so that this would not be a hindrance to their educational endeavors.”

Freeman said that her case might help people to understand more about transgender people.

“Right now, I’m living in a community that’s very adverse to diversity,” she said. “There are some people who know me and are cool with it, but I have to protect myself.”

A long journey

Brianna Freeman, who was raised as Bruce Freeman in Presque Isle, said she has been working hard to make her life feel more, not less, safe.

“I’ve worked hard to come as far as I have,” she said.

She said she spent 40 years as a man, essentially trying to please her traditional parents, and making them proud of her. In 2001 her “life came crumbling down.”

The traumatic events of Sept. 11 hit her hard, and other tough times ensued. By 2003 Freeman, who still was known as Bruce, had become homeless, had split up with a girlfriend, and was hitting bottom.

“I thought about taking my own life. What are people worth, when they have nothing?” she asked.

But she had resources — people who cared about her and made her feel worthwhile. She started the first phase of her quest to become a woman in January 2004. That first phase was a discovery period when Freeman worked on who she was, and what help might be available to her. The second phase involves living the role of the opposite sex, Freeman said, and that is where she is now.

She has spent a year and a half in hormone treatment, and her next step is laser hair removal. When asked whether she would get gender reassignment surgery, she said yes, unequivocally.

“Surgery is in the works,” she said.

Recently, Freeman has been keeping busy with the activities of her new life. She started playing competitive pool in 2006, and has been helping other people who are dealing with gender identity disorder.

“No one should have to go through this alone,” she said. “It’s very taxing on the psyche. I’m fighting back. I’m getting the help I need.”

Bangor Daily News

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1. A private business has the right of inclusion and exclusion and should discriminate against whomever they want. If I own a restaurant and want to kick you out because I don't like the color of your socks, it is my right.

2. There are no such things as "transgendered rights." Rights are individual, not collective, and certainly not genital-based, and absolutely not whim-based.

3. Government is initiating force in this instance. This is a clear example of "all your toilets are belong to Uncle Sam" and government can tell you what you can and can't do in them. Every transgendered person ought to repudiate this.

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1. A private business has the right of inclusion and exclusion and should discriminate against whomever they want. If I own a restaurant and want to kick you out because I don't like the color of your socks, it is my right.

I'm glad you don't own the sidewalks then.

It's interesting to note that disabled people complain that before goverment intervention, no business aknowledged their needs. They would be trapped at home.

2. There are no such things as "transgendered rights." Rights are individual, not collective, and certainly not genital-based, and absolutely not whim-based.

This person is an individual who wants to live as the gender she identifies with without having anyone else forcing her to identify with the opposite. As society is now, there is an advantage for people to group themselves according to common interests in order to defend those interests together.

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I'm glad you don't own the sidewalks then.

Okay, but he's still right. Do you disagree that people should have property rights to their own property?

It's interesting to note that disabled people complain that before goverment intervention, no business aknowledged their needs. They would be trapped at home.

And?? Does this justify the government intervention then?

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Do you disagree that people should have property rights to their own property?

I disagree that he should own sidewalks.

If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem. They cannot go anywhere. How to solve this problem?

And??

And disabled people a wanted a solution to their problem, because they didn't want to be prisoners in their houses, they wanted to live their lives. Who helped?

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If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis

Do you have another way of defining gender? If my putting on a wig and some lipstick makes me a woman, then you wont mind me loitering about the "ladies room" or "womens locker room" while you are in there changing.

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If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem. They cannot go anywhere.
That's clearly false. TS men go to the men's room, TS women go the the women's room. Once they change, they switch. If everybody gets to declare their own set of special "rights" and everybody gets to demand protection of those contradictory "rights" against everybody else's claims to "rights", then "rights" become meaningless as a recognition of what is necessary for man's survival qua man. Pay attention to the fact that in the above case, a customer asserted his rights, which the restaurant owner upheld, and then the government steps in and say that their rights are inferior to that of a whingeing minority. It’s important to know that only certain people have rights.
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I disagree that he should own sidewalks.

If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem. They cannot go anywhere. How to solve this problem?

I could care less about that problem. I care about the other problem, the one in which I no longer have the right to own a business. And unlike your problem, this one is our problem: it concerns society and deserves a solution from society (that solution is of course Laissez-Faire Capitalism)

Your problem concerns only the men who claim to have the right to go to the ladies room, on my property, even though they are not women. Personally, I would simply ask any such men to go to the mens room or leave. You could of course do as you wish in your restaurant.

As for sidewalks, they don't fall from the sky. People lay and maintain the concrete. Objectivism doesn't support the use of force, so it would be impossible for the government to lay and maintain sidewalks, especially (but not only) on private property. WHo would donate their property, resources, and effort to the government, to build sidewalks?

Or are you suggesting we make an exception, and have the government take a few slaves, and confiscate some property, to solve the great transvestite problem of the third millenium?

I disagree that he should own sidewalks.

I find that incredibly offensive. A similar insulting response would be: I disagree that you should have the right to own a computer. You're interfering with my right to go to the bathroom while looking at this thread without you in it.

Edited by Jake_Ellison
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If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem. They cannot go anywhere. How to solve this problem?

The point is that it is not property owners' reponsibility to solve that problem, and nor is it their obligation to acquiesce in their right to choose what happens on their property being abrogated by others with that problem. There is no such thing as an inherent right to engage in trade with someone against their will. If they don't want to trade with you, even if we can objectively say that their reasons are utterly atrocious, then that's too bad.

The proper way to deal with the problem is to address oneself to property owners' minds and their self-interests. The moral principle is no different to what the proper solution to racism or sexism were - and sadly, the actual responses so far have been the same immoralities: government diktat. The advocacy of use of force totally eliminates the moral credibility of the activists, even if (again) we might agree with their underlying case.

JJM

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That's clearly false. TS men go to the men's room, TS women go the the women's room. Once they change, they switch. If everybody gets to declare their own set of special "rights" and everybody gets to demand protection of those contradictory "rights" against everybody else's claims to "rights", then "rights" become meaningless as a recognition of what is necessary for man's survival qua man. Pay attention to the fact that in the above case, a customer asserted his rights, which the restaurant owner upheld, and then the government steps in and say that their rights are inferior to that of a whingeing minority. It’s important to know that only certain people have rights.

I disagree, many people especially conservatives love to look down at transgenders as a whingeing minority, the word minority because they don't idefinity as the majority so to speak.

However, many conservatives fail to realize that opinions may not be in their favor, polls are showing that the majority of america while not homosexuals are now supportive of same-sex marriage, that may leave conservatives in a "whengeing" minority? Everybody is not the same, so "a minority" may be the person who thinks they are the "majority".

Disabled americans, people in wheelchairs, blacks and hispanics, or rather let's say seniors, those with high blood pressure, or heart disease, they may be a "minority" , if most of the population in a given country is not senior or disabled.

However, the "majority" have an opinion giving them rights, which means that this leaves opinion of people towards transgenders, homosexuals,etc in doubt when they talk about special rights given to a whinegering minority, or "rights"

of conservatives, many americans could care less but often have knee-jerk reactions when conservatives use propaganda about how allong transgenders to use the restroom in peace is a license for predators , when it does not give

somebody a right to commit a crime such as in the case or rape, assualt,or vouyerism.

People are entitled to their own religious beliefts and opinions, but does that may also make them a minority, that a majority may respect most of the time.

Objectivism surely at its best :D

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I disagree, many people especially conservatives love to look down at transgenders as a whingeing minority, the word minority because they don't idefinity as the majority so to speak.

However, many conservatives fail to realize that opinions may not be in their favor, polls are showing that the majority of america while not homosexuals are now supportive of same-sex marriage, that may leave conservatives in a "whengeing" minority? Everybody is not the same, so "a minority" may be the person who thinks they are the "majority".

Disabled americans, people in wheelchairs, blacks and hispanics, or rather let's say seniors, those with high blood pressure, or heart disease, they may be a "minority" , if most of the population in a given country is not senior or disabled.

However, the "majority" have an opinion giving them rights, which means that this leaves opinion of people towards transgenders, homosexuals,etc in doubt when they talk about special rights given to a whinegering minority, or "rights"

of conservatives, many americans could care less but often have knee-jerk reactions when conservatives use propaganda about how allong transgenders to use the restroom in peace is a license for predators , when it does not give

somebody a right to commit a crime such as in the case or rape, assualt,or vouyerism.

People are entitled to their own religious beliefts and opinions, but does that may also make them a minority, that a majority may respect most of the time.

Objectivism surely at its best :D

I'm not sure what your point is. Are you implying that transgendered people do have special rights? In that case, what special rights? And why are those rights more important than my rights? What gives them the right to enslave me with government force?

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I disagree, many people especially conservatives love to look down at transgenders as a whingeing minority, the word minority because they don't idefinity as the majority so to speak.

However, many conservatives fail to realize that opinions may not be in their favor, polls are showing that the majority of america while not homosexuals are now supportive of same-sex marriage, that may leave conservatives in a "whengeing" minority? Everybody is not the same, so "a minority" may be the person who thinks they are the "majority".

Disabled americans, people in wheelchairs, blacks and hispanics, or rather let's say seniors, those with high blood pressure, or heart disease, they may be a "minority" , if most of the population in a given country is not senior or disabled.

However, the "majority" have an opinion giving them rights, which means that this leaves opinion of people towards transgenders, homosexuals,etc in doubt when they talk about special rights given to a whinegering minority, or "rights"

of conservatives, many americans could care less but often have knee-jerk reactions when conservatives use propaganda about how allong transgenders to use the restroom in peace is a license for predators , when it does not give

somebody a right to commit a crime such as in the case or rape, assualt,or vouyerism.

People are entitled to their own religious beliefts and opinions, but does that may also make them a minority, that a majority may respect most of the time.

Objectivism surely at its best :D

I love the smell of troll in the morning.

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I disagree that he should own sidewalks.

If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem. They cannot go anywhere. How to solve this problem?

Why do you suppose that transgendered people cannot go anywhere? First of all, knowing that you are transgendered and you live in a society where this might be problematic, you can make plans for that and try not to use public restrooms that are not unisex. This may not always be practical, but it is a forseeable step you could take to help yourself. Secondly, why do you assume every business owner would be unaccommodating? Obviously many will be, as this article shows. But some businesses might choose to have a different policy (and of course you are free to ask for an accommodation as long as you accept that the answer might be "no"). Businesses are not going to be in the habit of turning away lots of customers. Who knows, some businesses might even start to advertise as "trans-friendly". In a free society, you can do that. The point is it's up to each individual owner and there is no reason to suppose they will all do the same thing. Do you think there are no transgendered restaurant owners?

No one in a free country forces any person to perform any particular gender. If a business owner insists that if you have a penis you have to use the men's room, he's still not using force...you can always not use the bathroom or even leave the restaurant entirely. Force would be if you could be arrested for performing the "wrong" gender, i.e. one that does not match your physical characteristics. That would of course be bad law.

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I disagree, many people especially conservatives love to look down at transgenders as a whingeing minority, the word minority because they don't idefinity as the majority so to speak.
I have no opinion about TS's as a group. I was referring to the whingers specifically, namely the offensive plaintiff in this case, who I hope is not representatives of TS's. They are, of course, all a minority -- I assume you don't dispute that fact.

Minorities have no special rights and should not be given preferential treatment. That's really all there is to that. They have no right to claim ownership of other people's property, which is exactly what is going on in this case.

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I have no opinion about TS's as a group. I was referring to the whingers specifically, namely the offensive plaintiff in this case, who I hope is not representatives of TS's. They are, of course, all a minority -- I assume you don't dispute that fact.

Minorities have no special rights and should not be given preferential treatment. That's really all there is to that. They have no right to claim ownership of other people's property, which is exactly what is going on in this case.

Its easy to say are make a quote about minorities having no special rights, actually they want equal rights not special rights some may aruge

Do you really suppose a business is going to check genitilia of a patron who uses the bathroom? Many forum readers say thats the standard businesses should use, I am not sure what opinion people have,

should bald haired woman/women such as khadjiah farmer be kicked out of the bathroom who herself was a lesbian, I'm curious as to the opinon of people on the forum on that issue.

So, lets suppose Catholics are a minority in this country, or protestants become a minority or whites became a minorty in the next 20-30 years, would you argue that they should allowed to be discriminated

against, perhaps.

Let me be clear, people are entitled to their own viewpoints, and I was pointing out different scenarios that may arise in the future and am using though provoking questions.

An opinion or suggestion by me for a topic doesn't necessarily mean that I agree or disagree with the forum readers.

Say I own a dance club, or a resturant should I be allowed in your view to exclude blacks or anybody who isn't light skinned for the club, what about hispanics, its a place of busineses so one may view

it as private property, what about housing discrimination, again there are people who will love to discriminate not necessarily because they are racist but because they don't like that particular person or

maybe racists at times in a sense that they don't judge people by race, but tend to socialize with certain ethnic groups who share their cultural viewpoints and such.

Somebody may then argue this, if we allow business owners, landlords, companies who hire, tc to discriminate at will , then we could have a big schism or divide and people may then argue against that

argument and want regulation or ownership by the government, similary the government could tax busineeses that engage in certain things it doesn't like in a lower-profile way such as taxes and regulations on a case-by-case basis, but with a bias.

By the way this is interesting , objectivism, so I welcome civilized and factual debate or opinions on this matter, not just about bathrooms and transgenders.

or rather say that the government should own all businesses, landlords, employers

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The simple response is, respect private property and let the chips fall where they may. People have the freedom to be irrational with their own property (but no one else's). Might this result in some segmentation of society? Yes, but probably no more than we already have, just in different patterns. I don't think you will find that people here will turn around and argue for special privileges when they are on the wrong end of a property owner's decision. I respect, for instance, that an all-male school may deny me admission if it is a private institution. I can ask them to admit me, but I can't rightfully force them to do so. Now, this issue is complicated by all the public money all sorts of people take, but of course Objectivists object to that on principle too.

If what you're suggesting is that principle will be abandoned by some here when on the losing side of discrimination, I think you'll find you're wrong.

Its easy to say are make a quote about minorities having no special rights, actually they want equal rights not special rights some may aruge

Do you really suppose a business is going to check genitilia of a patron who uses the bathroom? Many forum readers say thats the standard businesses should use, I am not sure what opinion people have,

should bald haired woman/women such as khadjiah farmer be kicked out of the bathroom who herself was a lesbian, I'm curious as to the opinon of people on the forum on that issue.

So, lets suppose Catholics are a minority in this country, or protestants become a minority or whites became a minorty in the next 20-30 years, would you argue that they should allowed to be discriminated

against, perhaps.

Let me be clear, people are entitled to their own viewpoints, and I was pointing out different scenarios that may arise in the future and am using though provoking questions.

An opinion or suggestion by me for a topic doesn't necessarily mean that I agree or disagree with the forum readers.

Say I own a dance club, or a resturant should I be allowed in your view to exclude blacks or anybody who isn't light skinned for the club, what about hispanics, its a place of busineses so one may view

it as private property, what about housing discrimination, again there are people who will love to discriminate not necessarily because they are racist but because they don't like that particular person or

maybe racists at times in a sense that they don't judge people by race, but tend to socialize with certain ethnic groups who share their cultural viewpoints and such.

Somebody may then argue this, if we allow business owners, landlords, companies who hire, tc to discriminate at will , then we could have a big schism or divide and people may then argue against that

argument and want regulation or ownership by the government, similary the government could tax busineeses that engage in certain things it doesn't like in a lower-profile way such as taxes and regulations on a case-by-case basis, but with a bias.

By the way this is interesting , objectivism, so I welcome civilized and factual debate or opinions on this matter, not just about bathrooms and transgenders.

or rather say that the government should own all businesses, landlords, employers

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What part of right of admission and exclusion didn't you understand?

Do you really suppose a business is going to check genitilia of a patron who uses the bathroom?

They can request it if they want to.

should bald haired woman/women such as khadjiah farmer be kicked out of the bathroom who herself was a lesbian

If the owner of that bathroom wants to, then yes.

So, lets suppose Catholics are a minority in this country, or protestants become a minority or whites became a minorty in the next 20-30 years, would you argue that they should allowed to be discriminated against

Of course they should. As long as they receive equal protection under the law, absolutely.

Let me be clear, people are entitled to their own viewpoints

No, they're not. Not in your world. In your world, if you feel discriminated against, you want to use the government as an instrument of force to get your way.

Say I own a dance club, or a resturant should I be allowed in your view to exclude blacks or anybody who isn't light skinned for the club

Absolutely. In fact, there are many clubs that do exactly this.

what about housing discrimination

What about it? I set the rules for my private property. You don't like them? Go buy up or construct your own housing and exclude me if you wish.

Somebody may then argue this, if we allow business owners, landlords, companies who hire, tc to discriminate at will , then we could have a big schism or divide and people may then argue against that

So? You don't like my business, my housing, my company, go buy or make your own and exclude me for all I care. God forbid we "allow" people to do whatever they want so long as they don't violate anyone's rights.

All you need to know when asking yourself if someone should be "allowed" to do anything is: does it initiate force? If taking that action results in the loss of life, liberty, or property by force or fraud, then you may not take that action. If taking that action does not result in the loss of life, liberty, or property by force or fraud, then you must be permitted to take that action.

No offense but maybe you should actually read an Ayn Rand book before posting. I doubt others will waste time on your posts if you don't come to the discussion prepared. You clearly have no concept of private property, the initiation of force, individual rights, or the fundamental nature of government. The least you could do to respect anyone else from here on is educate yourself on these topics before you continue.

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Its easy to say are make a quote about minorities having no special rights, actually they want equal rights not special rights some may aruge
That's plainly false, since in the very case at hand this bozo demanded a special right to someone else's property. That is the issue. Your rantings about bald headed women, lesbians and what-not are completely off target: the issue is whether a man has the right to his own property. Get a grip on what the real issue is.
Say I own a dance club, or a resturant should I be allowed in your view to exclude blacks or anybody who isn't light skinned for the club, what about hispanics, its a place of busineses so one may view it as private property, what about housing discrimination, again there are people who will love to discriminate not necessarily because they are racist but because they don't like that particular person or maybe racists at times in a sense that they don't judge people by race, but tend to socialize with certain ethnic groups who share their cultural viewpoints and such.
Yes. It is the right of the individual to do with his property what he wants. You don't need that fact explained to you in any clearer fashion.
By the way this is interesting , objectivism, so I welcome civilized and factual debate or opinions on this matter, not just about bathrooms and transgenders.
However, you need to become more educated about the philosophical principles of Objectivism. Seriously. Do some basic reading first, before you get yourself in any deeper.
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I could care less about that problem.

Ok. But an attitude such as yours made this person's life difficult to the point they decided to ask the government for help.

Your problem concerns only the men who claim to have the right to go to the ladies room, on my property, even though they are not women.

Why do you think you have the right to decide this person's gender above her own individual judgement?

As for sidewalks, they don't fall from the sky. People lay and maintain the concrete.

There is a problem if anyone owning a sidewalk, be that a private individual protected by the government or the government itself, has the right to arbitrarily chose who steps on it. If a rule makes someone's life impossible and it's imposed by force, it makes no difference for this person if it's the government laying the law or a private individual supported by the government.

Why do you suppose that transgendered people cannot go anywhere?

Because such situations happened in the past, with disabled people for instance. It's very likely there might be no public places the transgendered person can go at all in her area and she might not be able to move somewhere else. In a culture, it often happens that everyone, or a sufficient majority of people, holds the same bad idea about something, or decides to ignore the same problems of people, and this makes the life of some individuals impossible. Culture takes time to shift, sometimes too much time for an individual to get to live life like they want.

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Governments love getting into the business of " enforced compassion", ( the only way I can describe this ). It proves to it's citizens what a big heart it has. And it wants so badly to show us how we can all get along and love each other. And it just keeps growing, with each petty intervention into our lives.

So those special interest groups will happily jump onto the bandwagon, and keep growing..

What you in the U.S. bring into law, or the rights that you overturn, or even just these issues hitting the media, has a direct impact on us in other countries.

I feel deeply saddened by America's decline into collectivism and irrationality - I feel I'm losing a hero. But almost as bad, is that here in my country, we will slavishly copy all your latest idiocies, only the bad things of course, never the good.

I'm no lawyer, but surely a restaurant does not differ, legally, from one's own home?

This concept of a restaurant being 'public property', started when the smoking laws came into being. NOBODY challenged this at the time, and now we are going to pay the price, with further inroads into our freedom.

Majority groups, minority groups, all crap. We, the politically correct, have allowed our nanny States to disperse with the Individual.

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Ok. But an attitude such as yours made this person's life difficult to the point they decided to ask the government for help.

No, I'm not. If they want something that's mine and decide to ask the govermnet to take it, the problem lies with them.

Why do you think you have the right to decide this person's gender above her own individual judgement?

I suspect you have no idea what Objectivism or the US Constitution mean by rights. I have the right to decide whatever I wish to decide. It is perfectly within my rights to call transgendered people ducks and ducks transgendered people, just because I feel like it. If they don't like it, they have the right to not acknowledge me.

And I have the right to not acknowledge someone with a penis and a Y chromosome, calling himself a female. I happen to also be right, biologically speaking, but that's not even the point. My rights allow me to call everyone and everything whatever I want, and run my business and property as I wish.

There is a problem if anyone owning a sidewalk, be that a private individual protected by the government or the government itself, has the right to arbitrarily chose who steps on it. If a rule makes someone's life impossible and it's imposed by force, it makes no difference for this person if it's the government laying the law or a private individual supported by the government.

It is hard to imagine that further explaining will help. You just don't understand what rights are.

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Why do you think you have the right to decide this person's gender above her own individual judgement?
The question is not who has the right to "decide a person't gender", but who has the right to determine how private property is to be used. The answer is quite simple: the owner of the property does. In this case, the owners of that Denny's made a legitimate business decision, but their property rights were (predictably) trampled by the state. Why? Because the fundamental premise of socialism has been accepted: that property used in a business is public property, so the "owners" have no rights.
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However, many conservatives fail to realize that opinions may not be in their favor, polls are showing that the majority of america while not homosexuals are now supportive of same-sex marriage, that may leave conservatives in a "whengeing" minority?

You should keep that in mind before running to the government for help.

Why? Well, what happens if the general feelings in the public change against transgendered people? Especially if the government decides again to meddle.

I think you'll find many people in this forum either sympathetic or indeferent to transgendered issues. After all, your gender, whatever it may be, to paraphrase Jefferson, neither breaks my legs nor picks my pocket. But when you get government to enforce actions on priate business and individuals, then you'll find the people here are hostile to that.

The way to go about it instead is to take your case to the public and present all the reasons why a MTF TS should be allowed to use the ladies' room, among other things (and viceversa for FTM, of course). If the public is sympathetic, you can then achieve almost anything in regards to how business will behave (business owners being part of the public as well, BTW).

Government action would be appropriate in the case of contract disputes. For instance if a TS in transition has a contract her employer or landlord no longer wants to honor.

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I disagree that he should own sidewalks.

In a proper system of government, the government should not own the sidewalk so someone must own it. Why not the restaurant owner?

If every restaurant owner defines gender by the presence or absence of a penis, which is very likely, transgendered people have a problem.

Aside from that being a highly improbable context, you are still missing something. Transgendered people would now have a market to tap into - themselves. People don't owe anyone access to their property, regardless of that person's need.

And disabled people a wanted a solution to their problem, because they didn't want to be prisoners in their houses, they wanted to live their lives. Who helped?

People that chose to help helped. Is it your assertion that NO ONE ever chose freely to provide access to the disabled people until the government came along and forced people to do it?

I see the recurring theme here is that you appear to believe that one person's needs gives them some license over another person's property (and by extension their needs) and if other people don't consent to help them then the government should be able to force them to help. Is that basically correct?

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