Maryland House approves transgender protections bill

Fri. March 28, 2014 9:55 AM by Carlos Santoscoy

Annapolis, MD - A bill which seeks to prohibit discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public accommodations on the basis of gender identity or expression cleared the Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday.

The measure, known as SB 212, cleared its final legislative hurdle with an 82-57 vote.

Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley, who signed the state's marriage equality bill into law, has pledged his signature.

"I'm pleased the MD House of Delegates has passed #SB212, protecting transgender people from discrimination," O'Malley tweeted. "Everyone deserves to be treated equally with dignity and respect."

Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, the state's largest LGBT advocate, applauded the vote in a statement.

"This is the culmination of a very long and sustained effort by Equality Maryland to ensure transgender Marylanders are included in our state's anti-discrimination laws," Evans said. "Today's win is the result of so many people and organizations – transgender individuals and their families showing up and telling their stories year after year, elected officials like Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegates Luke Clippinger, Bonnie Cullison and Joseline PeÑa-Melynk , many years of dedicated and committed Equality Maryland Board and staff, amazing coalition partners like the Human Rights Campaign and so many more people and organizations that we will highlight in the coming months."

A similar measure died in the Senate after passage in the House in 2011.

This year's effort was boosted by an amendment aimed at derailing the argument that such a law would allow men claiming to be women access to womens' restrooms. The amendment defines gender identity as being "sincerely held as part of the person's core identity."

Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine



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