November 29, 2012 | by Steve Charing
Pressing ahead for gender identity rights
Gender Rights Maryland, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, GRM, PFLAG, gay news, Washington Blade, Maryland

Gender Rights Maryland and the Howard County and Baltimore County chapters of PFLAG will continue their cooperation following a year of successes.

The civil rights team that had success in Howard and Baltimore counties will press ahead in 2013 to secure gender identity rights in Maryland. Gender Rights Maryland — the state’s only civil rights organization exclusively representing trans persons — and the Howard County and Baltimore County chapters of PFLAG announced last week they will continue the alliance they formed this past year in passing gender identity and expression legislation in two Maryland counties.

The alliance will mark the second year of cooperation between the organizations that resulted in the passage of comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for trans and gender non-conforming persons in Howard and Baltimore counties in 2012. The organizations plan to take the measures to the Maryland State Legislature and to the Prince George’s County Council for passage in 2013.

“PFLAG Howard County is proud to have been an integral partner in the successful passage of comprehensive legislation in Baltimore and Howard counties,” said PFLAG Howard County president Matt Thorn. “We stand unwavering with our brothers and sisters in the fight for gender identity and gender expression non-discrimination. The transgender community has stood steadfast with the gay and lesbian community in the quest for marriage equality and it is fundamental that the LGB and ally community stand by the trans community in the pursuit of comprehensive non-discrimination laws on the state level.”

Added Mark Patro, PFLAG Baltimore County chapter president, “Following the tremendous success that these three organizations had working together with other friends and allies in Howard and Baltimore counties, PFLAG Baltimore County is making a commitment to remain part of this alliance and to continue our work for trans rights and protections in the state of Maryland.”

“We welcome all allies, including those allies who worked for these causes in previous years, to join our alliance in moving these issues forward,” said GRMD Executive Director Dana Beyer.

“This team has been instrumental in persuading legislators to take action on the issues surrounding trans rights,” said Sharon Brackett, board chair of GRMD. “Our alliance with PFLAG and the results we have achieved together has secured protections to over a million more Marylanders including many thousands of trans or gender non-conforming persons in Maryland. Now is time to make sure that all Marylanders have a common set of rights.”

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