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Twitter Battle Between Lesbian, Transgender Advocates Leads to Court Order

A peace order was issued against Phylicia Sampson, a Baltimore resident, in Baltimore County District Court on Wednesday.

Twitter Battle Between Lesbian, Transgender Advocates Leads to Court Order

A Twitter message about spitting led Towson lawyer and lesbian advocate Cathy Brennan to file for a peace order against a transgender advocate.

Phylicia Sampson, a 28-year-old Baltimore resident, and Brennan, 42, were engaged in a heated debate on the social media site when Sampson wrote that she wanted to spit in Brennan's face.

Baltimore County Distict Court Judge Barbara Jung ordered Sampson to stay away from Brennan's home and place of employment, and to cease contact, according to the peace order. The order expires June 9.

Brennan, a former member of the Boards of the Gay and Lesbian Community
Center of Baltimore, said she has been a gay activist since 1995, but is of the opinion that transgendered women are male and should not have access to "female spaces."

"The balancing interest and concern between lesbians and transwomen is an issue," she said. "This is an issue in [the LGBT] community, but I don't think this has bubbled into the main stream yet."

She runs a controversial blog where she expresses her viewpoints.

Brennan said she met Sampson, a graduate student, through mutual friends in fall 2011, and had invited her into her home on several occassions. 

"At some point, we came to a fork in the road because she believes transwomen are women," she said.

Brennan said Sampson had been sending her a slew of aggressive messages and continued to do so even after Brennan asked her to end their communications.

"I'm afraid of this person at this point," said Brennan, who added that she has received several death threats for her stance. "I take [threats] very seriously."

In a brief phone call with a reporter, Sampson said she has no plans to contact Brennan.

"[Brennan] uses the law as a form of manipulation," she said. "I have said some things but nothing personal about her."

Sampson has since blocked her Twitter page from public view.

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