Pro-family groups are suggesting people may want to rethink Cleveland as a destination if the city passes a proposed ordinance.
The Cleveland (Ohio) City Council is conducting a public hearing Wednesday afternoon to discuss a proposal that would permit men and women to enter public restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of their choice – including restrooms located in businesses. Local news media report the ordinance is being considered "in an effort to help transgendered people feel more comfortable" using those public facilities.
"The basic duty of government is to protect its citizens," says Ohio-based Mission: America's Linda Harvey, "and this opens up dangerous territory for girls and women as far as dangerous, predatory males having full access to restrooms and privacy areas where women should be able to feel safe."
Another Ohio-based pro-family group, Citizens for Community Values, agrees with Harvey. "This proposed ordinance outrageously neglects the safety and physical and emotional health or women and children and opens up real possibilities of predators and incidents of rape, assault, public exposure, and other sexual abuse," states CCV.
According to the proposed legislation, anyone who tries to bar someone from entering a facility designated for the opposite gender could be fined a thousand dollars.
Harvey points out the ordinance is being considered as the Republican Party solidifies plans for its national convention next year in Cleveland.
"I would be hesitant to go to not only the Republic Convention but the Indians' games or the Browns' games," she shares. "I mean, there are lots of reasons why people throughout Ohio and the nation are going to be very, very hesitant to patronize Cleveland as a destination if you can't – especially as a woman – feel as though you and your family are safe."
According to Cleveland.com, one of the co-sponsors of the measure – Councilman Matt Zone – calls it "common-sense legislation [that is] long overdue."
Opponents are calling for Cleveland residents to show up in droves for the 1:30 p.m. Wednesday public hearing and provide a strong pushback against the proposal.