My office has received and reviewed your letter regarding legislation in Maine addressing the use of public restrooms by transgender individuals. While I can appreciate that this is a delicate and complex issue for some people, I believe we must work together to establish a more tolerant and inclusive society.
We live in a diverse country, but we all share the same values of fairness and equal treatment under the law. All Americans, irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity, should be protected just like everybody else. Like all people, gay and transgender Americans are deserving of the same opportunities to succeed and thrive.
Attempts to shut out gay and transgender people from our society are divisive, insensitive and wrong. Imagine for a moment how you would feel if lawmakers kept you from using a public restroom. This is the situation that gay and transgender people must confront all the time. And it needs to change. Gay and transgender individuals are ordinary folks; they live in our communities, work in local businesses and care for their families. Laws banning gay and transgender individuals will hurt our friends, co-workers and family members.
I thank you for your time and would ask that you take these ideas to heart so that we can all work to create a safer, more accepting and civil country.