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Maryland Senate Committee approves transgender rights bill

Thursday, February 20, 2014

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A Maryland senate panel on Thursday advanced a bill that would add gender identity to the state’s anti-discrimination law.

MarylandThe Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee voted 8-3 in favor of the “The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014,” a measure that would update the state’s anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations to include transgender individuals.

During mark-up and debate on the bill, an amendment was adopted to add “gender identity” to existing laws which exempt religious employers.

“In its written testimony on SB 212, the Maryland Catholic Conference pointed to this as one of the reasons they opposed the bill,” said Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. “With this amendment, I hope they will consider supporting this bill in the House of Delegates.”

Another amendment would require facilities that include locker rooms to provide equivalent private space for transgender individuals to be exempt from the law.

“As a transgender woman, I know trans Marylanders have waited too long to be afforded critical protections in seeking and maintaining employment, finding, securing and keeping housing, and the just and proper access to the public fruits of life,” said Jenna Fischetti at Trans Maryland.

“The changes legislators made while in deliberation of this bill represent a small concession to unsubstantiated fears, and we look forward to success on the floor of the Senate,” said Fischetti.

The measure will now be considered by the full Senate where observers say it has the support needed to pass.

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33 more reader comments:

  1. Glad to hear it! Now if only the state of Idaho could pull their heads out of their rear ends and realize that we are not second class citizens!

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 4:59am
  2. As long as the good people of Idaho continue to vote in Republicans.....you will see no progress. :(

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:01am
  3. we were able to get the "legalize discrimination" bill thrown out, hopefully we can finally make some sort of progress forward

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:04am
  4. Great

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:09am
  5. I'm in Idaho and I'll do what I can while I'm here!!!!

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 8:20am
  6. Maryland, My Maryland, leading the way :-)

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:01am
  7. love love love wish to see every where !!

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:10am
  8. Appeasing the special snowflakes, eh?

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:02am
  9. sure any measure that affords basic civil rights and protections to a small oppressed community is appeasement of special snow flakes . you are quite the special snow flake yourself aren't you ?

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:37am
  10. Yes, I am a lake. You got me.

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:38am
  11. Maryland takes a step forward, Arizona takes two steps back.

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:03am
  12. No, Maryland took a step forward. Arizona took a time machine back to the 17th century.

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:07am
  13. Oh, I meant two steps back from the already 17th century setting. I wonder if they believe the earth revolves around the sun yet..

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:10am
  14. Lol. It'd probably blow their minds to know that the Sun also revolves around the center of the galaxy. Though, we wouldn't them to hurt themselves now, would we? 3:)

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:13am
  15. Now, now. No need to be mean. I'm sure after we teach them to read proper English and the basics of logic and reasoning, they can come to their sense eventually.

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:15am
  16. My state is showing acceptance! Yes!

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:03am
  17. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:11am
  18. Like! (Sorry fb is being a dipshit and won’t allow me to hit the like button)

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:12am
  19. D.C. ans Virginia need to catch up

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:29am
  20. One state at a time

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:31am
  21. Good job

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:31am
  22. call me petty but i take extra delight in this because this is cathy brennan’s home state.

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:32am
  23. YES! <3

    Replied on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:04am
  24. And st. Mary’s county will ignore the law….

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:52am
  25. Nathan Wallace

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 5:53am
  26. Maryland rocks!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:06am
  27. Abrianna Scarborough

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:06am
  28. Think it’s past Ryan’s bedtime . You don’t want to oversleep and miss class at that jr high of yours .

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 6:12am
  29. Come on Now, next step Same Sex Marriage…

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 9:03am
  30. Another step forward for Maryland.

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 11:05am
  31. We are lucky here in Maryland that our state government is very pro civil rights. YAY!

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 12:42pm
  32. Congratulations! <3 xx About time… I can’t believe you didn’t have this previously. :D Yay..

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 2:58pm
  33. THE GREAT STATE OF MARYLAND: not too many states can complete with the men and women who run this great state…it defines AMERICA…

    Posted on Friday, February 21, 2014 at 3:28pm