HRC Blog

Maryland Senate Committee Takes Up Gender Identity Bill

Post submitted by Nick Martin, HRC Field Assistant 

Yesterday the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony from a variety of advocates on the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 (SB 449). This bill would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit.

HRC State Legislative Director Sarah Warbelow testified before the committee on the need for gender identity protections.

"By adopting the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, the state of Maryland will not be breaking new ground. To date, 16 states, the District of Columbia, and over 165 cities and counties provide protections on the basis of gender identity and expression. Most importantly, four Maryland jurisdictions currently include gender identity and expression in their non-discrimination ordinances – Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Montgomery County. These ordinances passed with little to no opposition…The time has come for Maryland to protect all of its residents."

Others who gave testimony included Senators Rich Madaleno and Jamie Raskin, the bill’s two sponsors in the Senate, Dana Beyer from Gender Rights Maryland, and Carrie Evans from Equality Maryland.

The Senate committee could vote as early as Thursday with the full Senate vote next week. The Maryland House of Delegates is expected to take up this bill in the coming weeks pending passage in the Senate. The House has passed similar non-discrimination bills in the past.

HRC President Chad Griffin submitted testimony to the committee. Full text can be found here.

HRC is a proud member of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality, the coalition working to secure gender identity protections in Maryland. Maryland passed sexual orientation protections in 2001 with the help of HRC.

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