Our City Council will vote May 14 (that’s tomorrow) to amend the anti-discrimination ordinance. Few people in the city have any knowledge of what this amendment is or how it will impact our lives.

J.M. Crain

J.M. Crain

The City Council chose a time, when most people are just trying to survive, to quietly move this amendment forward. The amendment will open all public places, with the exception of religious organizations/facilities, i.e. dressing rooms, washrooms, restrooms, locker rooms, public places, etc, to individuals who are biologically male, yet claim different gender identity or expression. Councilmembers haven’t shown or given any evidence such discrimination occurs.

Laws/ordinances of discrimination have been passed; however, it has been because there was strong evidence of discriminatory actions, and the laws were much needed to prevent such actions. In this case, there has been no documented evidence put forward of any discrimination. In a news article, Councilmember Ziel-Dingman stated this would be good for kids and lower the suicide rate. Councilmember Ziel-Dingman please present the evidence, the data, that backs that statement. Have you considered the evidence of psychological trauma to the children and teenage girls who have been exposed to boys and men or have to undress in front of boys because they have no other alternative?

What is known, and documented, is that when laws and ordinances like these are passed, criminal actions against women go up. A recent study found that since Target changed its policy regarding women’s facilities, the incidence of voyeurism went up 40% nationwide. This is a fact. Ammon’s Target made national news when it was the first case of voyeurism after Target changed its policies. A recent study in 2017 found that most voyeurism and assault crimes were not committed by a gender-fluid person but by predators who take advantage of the unisex open accommodations policies which are about to be mandated in our city. Apparently, your wives’, daughters’, granddaughters’ or girlfriends’ safety is less important than open policies that will favor only a few.

Even though the city asked for public input via letter or email, it would appear the City Council has made up its mind. Ten days before the vote is to take place, Council Member John Radford stated that the City Council will unanimously vote to pass the amended ordinance. If this bothers you, as it should, we need to flood the council with letters and e-mails. It must be done today.

When businesses open again, women will no longer be safe in public restrooms or dressing rooms anywhere within the city. When school starts, your daughters and granddaughters will no longer be allowed the luxury of girl’s only dressing rooms, locker rooms or restrooms because they’ll be forced to share. Let that sink in.

This is not hypothetical. There are statistical data and facts surrounding these laws. The last election, three council members were up for re-election. Only one was opposed, and there were less than 5,000 votes cast between the two candidates. This is strong evidence that elections matter.

J.M. Crain is the assistant precinct committee officer of Idaho Falls.