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Maryland gender identity act approved by Senate judicial committee

Maryland gender identity act approved by Senate judicial committee

Maryland’s Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act was approved by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Saturday by a vote of 7-4.

The measure, House Bill 235, would prohibit discrimination against transgender Marylanders in the areas of employment, housing and credit.

The legislation passed with an amendment, from Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery) to take out protections against discrimination based on “appearance, expression or behavior” and instead adding “the manifestation of that identity in gender-related appearance, characteristics and mannerisms.”

The amendment to the legislation means that it will need to go back to the House if it passes the full Senate before the end of the legislative session on April 11. Three other amendments — some of which would have limited the scope of the protections in the bill — were proposed, but rejected.

The bill was approved in the House of Delegates on March 26, 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.

On Tuesday, the Rules Committee voted to allow HB 235 to advance through the normal legislative process rather than die in committee.

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