October 6, 2011 | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Equality Maryland names 16 new board members

The statewide LGBT advocacy group Equality Maryland has announced the appointment of 16 new members to its board and the board of its tax-exempt educational arm Equality Maryland Foundation.

Officials with the two organizations said the new board members were selected with the help of a nominations committee that included gay Maryland State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and lesbian State Del. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore) with the aim of recruiting seasoned professionals with skills in managing a non-profit organization.

“We are thrilled with the addition of these 16 individuals to the board,” said Patrick Wojahn, president of the Equality Maryland Foundation board. “The combined depth of knowledge and skill they have around legislative, administrative and non-profit management activities will be a true benefit to the work of the organization.”

The announcement of the new board members comes less than a year after Equality Maryland struggled with financial problems and disagreements among board members that led to the firing of its executive director and the layoff of most of its staff due to a lack of funds to pay salaries.

Wojahn and Lisa Polyak, Equality Maryland’s acting president, said the selection of the new board members is another step in a rebuilding process that they say will lead to a restructured and reinvigorated organization. The two said the group plans to be a leading force in the state capital in Annapolis early next year in efforts to advocate for LGBT supportive legislation, including bills to legalize same-sex marriage and to ban discrimination against the transgender community.

The names and biographies of the new board members can be found at equalitymaryland.org.


Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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