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"Transgender Bill" H1728 public hearing July 14, 2009

Part 1. Citizens angered at marathon public hearing for "transgender" bill -- and over 200 other bills

From noon til 10:45 pm, 237 bills crammed into one hearing! But transgender debate dominated the day.

July 29, 2009

The July 14 "transgender bill" hearing brought out the Massachusetts homosexual & transgender movement's political propaganda machine in force. From moonbat state reps to lesbian lawyers "explaining' the law, they were there to testify. And an army of men in dresses and a few women with beards came to give their "personal" stories.

Most of the hearing dealt with the transgender bill. But for many people who had other issues on their minds, this was the hearing from hell. Too many bills, too much confusion, and too little time. An insulting way for government to do its work. It was strange. What was going on?

When the hearing began at noon this was the scene.

People were allowed to start signing in to testify an hour and a half earlier.

Outside the entrance to the State House

At 7:15 pm it was still going strong.  It went until nearly 11 pm.

Strange and secretive from the start

Everything about this hearing was strange and secretive. The hearing itself wasn't even posted on the state website until just days before. It was simply by accident that we found out, and we had to call the committee to confirm it.

Originally the hearing was just for the "transgender bill," which the committee knew would draw a big crowd. When we contacted the committee a week before the hearing to ask them if there would be any other bills that day, they said they weren't sure. A few days later we personally visited their offices and found out the truth. They handed us their list. We were floored!

Biills dealing with dozens of issues

Usually a hearing will only take up similar bills affecting one or two general subjects. Just days before the hearing the committee released a list of 237 bills -- many of them very controversial -- that would all be crammed into that one afternoon!

And these bills dealt with dozens of issues, including:

Police officers (high-speed chases, resisting arrest, etc.); DSS employees; pets; crime witnesses; AIDS patients; identity theft; retail theft; visitation rights of parents; gang violence; treatment of prisoners; treatment of prostitutes; dog fighting; domestic violence; minimum sentencing for drug offenses; computer crimes; drag racing; assault and battery on public employees; safety of judges; lobbying ethics violations; firearms issues; the mandatory reporting law; and many more.

Many different and diverse groups of people who would be affected by or had a strong interest in these bills suddenly had to plan to come and testify! And they were outraged when they expected a serious public hearing and found it was a mob scene.

Unusual non-notification of hearing

That wasn't the only problem. The Legislature usually posts dates, room numbers, and bill numbers of the upcoming public hearings on the State House website at least a week or two in advance, so people can plan to come if they're interested. This one wasn't posted until just a few days before the hearing -- even though it affects so many bills and so many people. And the bill numbers weren't posted until even later.

It's a testament to how important all these bills are to people that the word got out so fast.

Tidal wave of people came to testify

The homosexual and transgender lobby was there in full force. The transgender bill took up the majority of time that day. As expected, there was emotion, charges of hatred, bigotry, discrimination, and their latest epithet, "transparent transphobia".

MassResistance and others were there to counter the propaganda machine. The committee members blanched when we showed them the photos of what's already happening - and the fines and jail time that could go to anyone criticizing it. And we brought them individual copies of medical literature on "gender identity disorder", and more. And we were interviewed by Fox TV, WBZ radio, WGBH TV, the Associated Press, and others.

But there was also a tidal wave of people wanting to give their testimony on one or more of the other 237 bills that day. Many of them were completely unaware that this was a "transgender" hearing, or that it was crammed with so many bills.

It was a disaster waiting to happen and a lot of people were angry at the format.

As we predicted, the 3-minute rule (and 2-minute rule for people on a panel) was never really enforced. The nature of much of the testimony made it impractical to even attempt it. But near the end, unfortunately, the committee started rushing the people (mostly on the pro-family side) who had stayed for hours and hours for a chance to speak.

As the day wore on the committee tried to stay focused, but it wasn't easy.

Most of the people who came weren't able to testify. Even though the hearing "officially" started at noon, the public officials went first. By 5:00 pm only a few dozen "regular" people had been called up. And it didn't speed up much after that. As the afternoon and evening wore on, people had simply left. By the time the hearing adjourned at 10:45 pm, only the diehards (i.e., transgender advocates and pro-life activists) were there to battle it out.

Angry citizens react

Wednesday morning's State House News report captured the mood of a lot of people, including public officials, who showed up.

By Kyle Cheney

STATE HOUSE, BOSTON, JULY 14, 2009.....Outraged attendees of a Tuesday Judiciary Committee hearing are fuming over the committee's decision to hear 227 bills - many of them controversial - in a single day, forcing committee leaders to cut off testimony from speakers on a range of topics, from gun violence, to sexual assault and a bill to add gender identity to the state's non-discrimination statute.

More than a few eyebrows were raised during a marathon hearing Tuesday when the Senate chair of the committee, Cynthia Creem (D-Newton), cut off Secretary of Public Safety Kevin Burke and asked him to hurry his testimony on an administration-backed bill aimed at preventing gun violence.

"It's an old-school M.O. that has no place in a modern legislature," said Brian Condron, director of public affairs at the Home for Little Wanderers. "It's crazy and they do this every year ... It really has no place in a modern legislature in an age of transparency."

Frustration was visible throughout usually spacious Gardner Auditorium, which was packed to capacity, with an overflow crowd into the hallway. A state trooper and two park rangers stood watch at the door. Advocates for various bills privately questioned why the committee would schedule so many contentious bills for one hearing, and some said they would have to leave without testifying because of the long waits. . .

Read the entire article HERE

The members of the Judiciary Committee who were there at least did not run out early. They listened attentively to the testimony. But they should have never made the public go through this insulting charade.

Contempt for the public by elected officials

In over 15 years of state house lobbying we have never seen anything like this. It's rare, in our experience, for 50 bills to be covered at a single public hearing. Sometimes there have been as many as 90 or more, we've been told. But nobody we know has ever heard of attempting to hear testimony on 237, especially apparently important bills like these, in one hearing.

To give you some perspective: Suppose only one person were to testify on each bill. At the rate of 15 people per hour - a VERY quick rate - it would take nearly 16 hours non-stop to hear them all - from noon to 4 am the next morning! But there is bound to be lots of testimony on many of these!

Here's our MassResistance commentary published the following day:

Government's going in a terrible direction
"Transgender Bill" hearing a symptom of bad government
July 15, 2009

What happened at Tuesday's hearing is an ominous reflection of what's happening in this country right now. Power and corruption seem to be replacing order and democracy. Power comes first, and the people come second.

As the State House News observed, the Judiciary did something extraordinary at that hearing. In a blatant display of disregard and contempt for the citizenry they crammed 237 bills - many of them important and sensitive - into one impossible public hearing. They made it about as uncomfortable and difficult as possible for most people to come and testify . . .

Read entire article HERE

Committee vote on bills comes later

The Judiciary Committee will vote Tuesday night on the transgender bill and the other bills anytime between now and the end of next year-- to advance any of them to the full legislature or "kill" them.  And although it's supposed to be done in a public "executive session" we probably won't know about it until after the fact. And after that, it could slither through the House and Senate in an "informal session" or with a voice vote. We will be vigilant on that, though it won't be easy!

TV Trucks lined the front of the State House -- for all kinds of bills -- but many of the reporters had to leave before the testimony was heard.