Maryland transgender bill voted out of Senate ‘graveyard’


A transgender non-discrimination bill in Maryland received a boost Tuesday when the Maryland State Senate Rules Committee voted to allow it to advance through the normal legislative process rather than die in committee.

House Bill 235, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, would prohibit discrimination against transgender Marylanders in the areas of employment, housing and credit.

The measure was approved in the House of Delegates last weekend by a vote of 86-52, but met resistance when Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller sent the bill to the Rules committee, dubbed the “graveyard” for bills unpopular with Senate leadership.

It was the only one of the 94 bills to come to the Senate chamber on cross-over that met that fate.

But with Tuesday’s action, HB 235 now heads to the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee where, based on public commitments made by committee members, it is expected to pass.

“With today’s vote, the Senate Rules committee stood up for fairness,” said Morgan Meneses-Sheets, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. “With the Rules Committee vote, we’re one step closer in passing vital protections for Maryland’s transgender community.”

A full senate vote on the bill must occur before April 11 and the adjournment of the legislative session.

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