Monday, June 23, 2008

Colorado Dems Explain SB 200

State Rep. Bernie Buescher has a problem. You see, Rep. Buescher is a liberal Democrat representing a Republican state house district in Grand Junction. How he got into this position is another story. Often, Bernie will tell his constituents one thing in Grand Junction, yet will vote much differently with liberal Front Range Democrats at the Statehouse in Denver.

You might be interested to hear how Rep. Buescher explained his vote for SB 200, the new law the gives men the right to be in women's bathrooms....

Men using the women's bathroom?
Business owners believe discrimination bill crosses line
By By Emily Anderson
Grand Junction, CO Colorado,
GRAND JUNCTION — Allowing men in women’s bathrooms is not what Rep. Bernie Buescher, D-Grand Junction, envisioned when he voted for Senate Bill 200 in May.

A sign in front of Mike’s Auto has been telling drivers on North Avenue differently for more than a week.

The sign, reading “Bernie Buescher, Shame on you, Men in girl’s bathrooms,” refers to a new state law designed to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s religion or sexual orientation in several places, including “facilities.” “Facilities” include hotel and public accommodations, not bathrooms, Buescher said.

“It prohibits discrimination — it says nothing about men using women’s bathrooms,” Buescher said. “Should it be interpreted that way, I’d be the first to lead an effort to modify it.

“The use by the wrong person of a bathroom is illegal, it is still.”

The owners of Mike’s Auto, Mike and Susan Gregg, said they read about the bill on a citizen link on Focus on the Family’s Web site and believe “facilities” include bathrooms. Susan Gregg said she was outraged a transgender man might be allowed to use the same bathroom as her granddaughters.

“It opens the door to men that are transvestites, cross dressers, whatever,” Gregg said.

The sign went up June 11 and has already prompted a few phone calls, messages and caused a few people to pull over and drop into the store. Most of the comments are positive, said Gregg.

Orville Powders, a Mike’s Auto employee, said he’s taken about four calls a week since the sign went up. Callers are evenly split on the issue, Powders said.

“The ones that like it really like it, the ones that don’t like it really don’t like it,” he said.

Senate Bill 200 became law May 29. It passed the state House with a 38-26-1 vote and the Senate with a 20-15-0 vote. Grand Junction Republicans Rep. Steve King and Sen. Josh Penry voted against the act.

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