Maple Ridge MP retweets column on transgender change rooms and ‘bigotry’

I think there’s got to be some separation and support: Dalton

Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge Conservative MP Marc Dalton has retweeted an opinion article from a U.S. news site on the topic of transgender or all-gender use of bathrooms and change rooms.

The article from the Washington Examiner is titled, The transgender movement’s message for girls: Your privacy concerns are bigotry.

“Young women know their bathrooms and locker rooms have become unsafe, but they are told to be quiet because the feelings of biological males and transgender students matter more,” says the article, written by Bethany Mandel, a stay-at-home and homeschooling mother of four and a freelance writer.

“A great deal of ink has been spilled on how unjust the ramifications of the transgender movement are for women, for instance, women-only sporting competitions and records now being dominated by biological men. The very essence of womanhood has been subverted by men who claim femininity is solely defined by outward appearance and self-identification. But the transgender movement isn’t just unfair for women; its policies are dangerous, too,” she wrote further.

Dalton said he’s not pushing the issue aggressively, but has spoken about it previously when he was MLA.

“It’s concerning for women and for children and young girls to be in a place where there’s someone undressing right in front of them … with male genitalia. I think … it has to work for everybody,” said Dalton, who added he was speaking personally and not for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Dalton, elected in October, said he hasn’t heard recently from any constituents about the issue, but has heard concerns previously.

“From what I’ve heard, there is concern and that concern has also been expressed … I think there’s got to be some separation and support. It’s important. We’re in new territory and I think that we have to progress thoughtfully on this issue,” Dalton added.

A woman, in 2017, complained about seeing a transgender person in the woman’s change room in the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre, leading the city to develop a policy to address that.

Read more: Maple Ridge working on transgender pool access policy

Dalton said he recognized the rights of transgendered people, but also wants to ensure that women and children feel secure in change rooms.

It’s been an issue of debate in the past and it remains an ongoing one, he added.

He said that the new universal, individualized change rooms at the renovated Leisure Centre are positive, and that he’s OK where people have a choice to be in private.

“I have more concerns where it’s a public change room and … no choice is possible, especially for females,” Dalton said.

Read more: MRSS adds gender neutral bathrooms

“And they don’t feel comfortable for a variety of reasons. That is an issue of concern to me and I’ve expressed that publicly in the past.”

The Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District announced in 2017 that it was creating transgender washrooms for every school, usually by converting private staff washrooms for transgender use.

Dalton said he supports that and supports gender-neutral bathrooms.

Dalton was a school teacher in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district before being elected Conservative MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge, in the federal election, Oct. 21.

He previously served as two terms as B.C. Liberal MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission, then was defeated in the 2017 provincial election.

Coun. Kiersten Duncan, said earlier that current practice says that anybody who self-identifies as a particular gender can use public facilities for that gender and that she’s never seen anyone abuse that, although that was possible.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

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