If your grandma lives in Maine and feels uncomfortable being housed with grandpas who identify as grandmas, a new ruling means they may have to check their cisgender privilege.
According to a Thursday NBC News report, an assisted living facility has reached a settlement with a 79-year-old transgender senior citizen who insisted on being housed with women.
While the settlement doesn’t set legal precedent, it’s also the first complaint of its kind in U.S. history — and, as NBC News noted, “legal experts nevertheless expect it to raise awareness that nursing homes and other assisted living facilities must abide by various state and federal laws barring them from discriminating against transgender people.”
(At The Western Journal, we’ve documented how forcing women to share facilities with biological men can go horribly wrong. It’s not like there’s any shortage of examples — and yet, the left keeps on insisting there’s no problem whatsoever. Moreover, for those of us who talk about the problem, Big Tech tries to silence us by starving us of ad revenue. We’ll keep on bringing readers the truth no matter what, however. If you support our mission, please consider subscribing.)
Marie King initially filed a complaint against the Sunrise Assisted Living facility in October, alleging the Jonestown, Maine, facility wouldn’t let him be housed with women.
A social worker at Pen Bay Medical Center had initially sought placement for King in the long-term care facility after it found he couldn’t “safely return” to his prior care home “because of trauma she had experienced there,” according to The Post Millennial, which, like other mainstream media outlets and officials, referred to King using feminine pronouns.
King had requested either a room with a woman or a solo room. However, his insurance didn’t cover the solo room and Sunrise Assisted Living was concerned that female residents would feel uncomfortable being housed with him.
“Upon information and belief, although Sunrise regularly and consistently places women in semi-private rooms with other women, it refused to do so for [King] because she is a woman who is transgender,” the complaint read.
According to the complaint, shortly after the social worker informed the care home that King was transgender, the home’s administrator informed them King’s application was being denied.
Thus, King filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission claiming the care home discriminated against him. In March, the MHRC narrowly voted 3-2 to let his complaint go to court, finding he had reasonable grounds to sue because transgender status is protected under the Maine Human Rights Act.
The care home argued there was no denial of housing due to King’s transgender identity because no application was actually completed and filed.
An attorney for Adult Family Care Homes of Maine, which runs Sunrise, said that “Sunrise Assisted Living would not have denied Ms. King residency based on her transgender status had she applied for residency. Ms. King just never applied.”
However, an MHRC investigator’s report said that completing an application “would have been futile when Respondent had made clear that this would not be a safe and appropriate placement for Complainant.”
The home moved to settle and the MHRC approved the terms during a video meeting on Monday. AFCH won’t have to admit guilt as part of the settlement, but it will develop policies to ensure transgender individuals can seek the housing they desire.
According to a media release from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the Boston-based non-profit that represented King, Adult Family Care Homes policy now says it will be “a welcoming and inclusive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender residents” and that its employees will “treat transgender individuals in accordance with their gender identity in all aspects of admissions, placement, and programming.”
AFCH homes also “will treat applicants who are transgender and provide its living and support services to people who are transgender in accordance with their gender identity,” according to the policy.
“Placement of an applicant/resident in a shared room setting that is separated by sex shall be made based upon the applicant/resident’s gender identity, not their assigned sex at birth,” it continues, adding that “[t]ransgender women will be respected fully as women and treated the same as other women in the facility.”
“I’m thrilled to see this positive outcome,” King said.
“I believe the new policies will keep others from experiencing mistreatment and will help people understand that transgender people are only seeking to be treated with dignity and respect like anyone else.”
“This is a groundbreaking case because it spells out for people what the minimum requirements of the law are and how to make sure that they comply with it,” said Chris Erchull, a staff attorney at GLAD.
Erchull, NBC News said, told them that “many staffers of such facilities lack the education and awareness pertaining to transgender adults and their needs, and are unsure how to comply with the law.”
Perhaps, however, these staffers aren’t uneducated — they just know that their cisgender female residents might have misgivings about being housed with transgender men, misgivings that aren’t necessarily unfounded or transphobic.
No one involved is going to say that outright, however — and it’s not just because of the Maine Human Rights Act. One cannot say Incorrect Things about transgender individuals, starting with referring to them by the accurate pronouns of their God-given gender.
The road this settlement takes us down leads us further into the dark thicket of the post-truth world, where the only fixed, immutable personal characteristic is race. Everything else is fungible, and woe be unto to the individual who says otherwise.
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