Disturbing the Piss

At her arraignment in Denver County Court, Terry pleaded not guilty--and then, armed with her new ID, pleaded her case to the city attorney, who dropped the charges. But Laura, whose arraignment was scheduled for the next day, was not as lucky: She was assigned a different city attorney, who took one look at the transgender letter from Laura's therapist and asked that the case be continued. It was, until last Friday.

That gave the ACLU enough time to get involved and determine that the disturbing-the-peace-ordinance wasn't applicable to anyone quietly using any bathroom. Not surprisingly, those charges, too, were dropped.

But the city may still have been caught with its pants down. Although the anti-discrimination office says the ordinance's definition of sexual orientation as "heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality" rules out transsexuals as a protected class, the ordinance also specifically prohibits any discrimination because of gender. And that, says gender counselor Dana Cicotello, opens the door. "'Gender' is not the same as 'sex,'" she says. "It is not a redundant word. 'Sex' is between your legs; 'gender' is between your ears and in your heart."

And no matter what's between your legs, nature calls.

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