Victory for Transgender Marylanders
March 27, 2014 by Paul Guequierre
Today the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, a bill that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit, passed the full House of Delegates after a last ditch fight by some anti-equality Republicans. Governor O'Malley has vowed to sign the bill into law.
“Today, the Maryland legislature brought this country one step closer to the promise of its founding documents by recognizing that everyone should be treated equally, including transgender Marylanders,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Being free from discrimination on the job is one of the things that makes our economy thrive and our nation succeed. It's long past time for these essential workplace protections to extend from coast to coast and everywhere in between."
When this law takes effect, Maryland will become the 18th state, along with the District of Columbia, to protect residents and visitors against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression. Since 2011, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Nevada have added gender identity and expression to their state anti-discrimination laws.
HRC thanks legislators whose leadership helped make today’s victory possible, including Dels. Luke Clippinger, Bonnie Cullison, and Joseline Pena-Melnyk and Sen. Rich Madaleno.
HRC is on the steering committee of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality and has been the leading national organization working for passage of this bill. HRC invested more than $50,000 in the effort during the current legislative session, including retaining top statehouse lobbyists and granting $25,000 to Equality Maryland for field organizing. HRC mobilized its tens of thousands of members and supporters in Maryland to contact lawmakers in support of the bill, and State Legislative Director Sarah Warbelow provided technical support to the campaign.
(Pictured above, l to r : HRC State Legislative Director Sarah Warbelow, Equality Maryland Director of Advocacy and Programs Keith Thirion, Senate Sponsor Rich Madaleno, Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans, House Sponsor Luke Clippinger, Free State Legal Managing Attorney Jer Welter, HRC Legislative Counsel for State and Municipal Advocacy)
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