"Right now, it doesn't affect us too much," said Brian Singer. "It's easy to protect Jackie because she is only six." Still, he said, she has already faced bullies who don't understand why a boy would want to dress as a girl — and she sometimes wonders why she is not accepted in the girls lavatory at school.
He says the legislation in Howard will become increasingly important as Jackie grows up.
Referring to the attack on Polis, he said, "I don't want that to happen to my daughter."
The incident at the Rosedale McDonald's, captured on a restaurant employee's cellphone, pushed discrimination of transgender people into the forefront of public debate. One of the teens involved in the altercation has since pleaded guilty in Baltimore County Circuit Court to one count of first-degree assault and one hate crime count.
The beating came shortly after the failure of a state law that would have provided some protections for transgender individuals in Maryland. The final version of the bill didn't include public accommodation protections that could protect transgender people from being discriminated against in restaurants and public places; Howard's bill contains those provisions.