BALTIMORE, Md. — Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan may have sent a message of “tolerance and mutual respect” during his inauguration lest week, but advocates for the state’s LGBT community say his early actions in office have signaled something different.
The Baltimore Sun reports that in one of his first acts as the state’s new GOP governor, Hogan held up a regulation that would have banned Medicaid providers in the state from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to state officials.
The provision was proposed in recent months under the administration of Hogan’s predecessor, Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, at the urging of LGBT groups.
The regulation also would have explicitly prevented discrimination based on religious affiliation and made the current Medicaid regulatory language consistent with the state’s other non-discrimination laws.
Article continues belowHogan’s first executive order as governor also excluded transgender state employees from employment discrimination protections. His order stated that “Employees shall adhere to all applicable laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Marylanders regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability or sexual orientation.”
The state legislature passed a landmark bill last year prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
Equality Maryland and Free State Legal Project, a prominent LGBT legal advocacy group, issued a joint statement Thursday, saying the first 24 hours of Hogan’s tenure were “not a good sign” for the LGBT community.