Of course, if you've been keeping up with events in the blog of this buzzard's twin, Feathered Bastard, you'll know that AZ Attorney General Terry Goddard's taken up the cudgel for Michele de LaFreniere, the transgendered dood who's looking to become the Rosa Parks of the men-in-pantyhose crowd in his/her ongoing war with Scottsdale nightclub Anderson's Fifth Estate.
As The Bird first carped last year ("Tranny-Gate," December 28, 2006) de LaFreniere's a guy en route to becoming a chick who still retains, as far as anyone can tell, his male plumbing. (De LaFreniere refuses to get specific on this point.) De LaFreniere, who just happens to be the chairperson of Scottsdale's Human Relations Commission, used to frequent Anderson's with her crew of fellow third-genders, and had been using or abusing the women's restroom there, depending on whom you ask. Owner Tom Anderson said he was getting complaints up the wazoo from biological gals about how the TGs powdered their noses standing up, and he eventually had to ask de LaFreniere & Co. not to return.
Well, hell hath no fury like a faux woman scorned. De LaFreniere and his/her comrades began picketing Anderson's, threatening boycotts and whatnot, if they were not readmitted. Anderson, who runs a relatively square joint, with Saturday nights catering to thirty- and fortysomethings reliving their Ronald Reagan-era youths with '80s dance music, has held his ground, citing customer kvetching and possible liabilities from having fellas in female attire sharing loo space with femmes.
Indeed, the solution seems a no-brainer to this feather-head: Let the owner decide! Plenty of gay, or just plain trendy, spots have unisex facilities. But no one expects more conservative joints to adopt the same policy. Or do they?
Enter compliance officer Jason Hughes of the AG's Civil Rights Division with a letter to Anderson dated June 22, requesting the club owner come in for an "interview" regarding a discrimination charge leveled at his business by de LaFreniere. Seems de LaFreniere went to the ACLU first, which forwarded the complaint to the AG.
"What sex were we being charged with discriminating against?" asked Anderson when phoned by this perturbed parakeet. "If a man wears a dress and stands in the female restroom to urinate, whose rights am I discriminating against?"
Anderson retained legal beagle Charles Kelhoffer, who fired back a letter to the AG claiming there was no basis under AZ law for the AG to pursue the matter. Contacted by this cockatoo, AG flack Andrea Esquer declined comment, stating that the AG's office could neither confirm nor deny an investigation, uh, even though the paperwork's out there. But she did state that the AG's office was legally obliged to look into such cases, and that the first order of business would generally be to get the two parties together and hammer out some resolution.
The latest is that Anderson has declined to come in voluntarily for tea and crumpets with the AG's henchman, saying he'll only appear if he's subpoenaed. If the AG's office does that, it could be political suicide for Goddard when he eventually runs for governor, as everyone expects him to, once Governor Janet "Manet" Napolitano moves on. Maricopa County Attorney Candy Thomas, Goddard's putative gubernatorial rival, would be sure to hang this tranny controversy around Goddard's neck like a 10-ton albatross.
What does Goddard's office wish to achieve? Unisex toilets for all public places? A third bathroom across the board for the transgendered? If he wants to set a precedent, this clucker can promise him it'll never happen. Hell, there's no gay marriage in this state, and he wants to push bathroom rights for trannies? Ironically, Goddard's office, in Esquer's words, "vigorously defended the Defense of Marriage Act" you know, the one that says one man, one woman, and no two of a kind.
Equality Arizona, a gay rights advocacy group, has jumped into the fray, listing l'affair de LaFreniere along with "various incidents of anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender bias and violence in the city of Scottsdale," on a Web site petition at http://eqfed.org. Equality Arizona spokesperson Sam Holdren informed this egret that the EA believed a "suitable solution" would be for Anderson to allow transgendered persons to avail themselves of any "single-use" facilities on the premises. Then Holdren made a startling assertion, that trannies continue to show up at Anderson's, even if de LaFreniere ain't welcome.