January 29, 2013 | by Michael K. Lavers
BREAKING: Maryland lawmakers introduce transgender rights bill

Dana Beyer, Maryland, gay news, Washington Blade

Dana Beyer (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland lawmakers on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban anti-transgender discrimination in the workplace, housing and public accommodations.

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 that gay state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and state Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery County) introduced has more than 20 co-sponsors. These include state Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Howard County.)

The proposal died in committee last April because Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Prince George’s and Calvert Counties) reportedly blocked a vote on it. Miller has since backed the proposal.

“Put simply, the process of passing a bill requires that you line up the votes you need to make it through a chamber,” Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, told the Washington Blade. “That process is eased considerably when those legislators are willing to sign on as co-sponsors. I am very pleased we can show this degree of support in the Senate, which I attribute to the diligent work of Senators Madaleno and Raskin and their staffs. The trans community should be very hopeful that this is the year.”

Equality Maryland Executive Director Carrie Evans also welcomed the proposal’s introduction.

“The protections in this bill are long overdue,” she said. “We are confident the General Assembly will demonstrate, as they did in 2012, that we are a state that treats all of its citizens with dignity and equality under the law.”

Maryland is among the 21 states and D.C. that have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, while the nation’s capital and 16 states have passed laws that ban anti-trans discrimination.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

28 Comments
  • I am pleased to see that Mike Miller now backs the bill. It takes longer to open some people;s eyes and I have always believed Miller is basically a good person.

  • Same troll, different day. Doesn't Brennan ever get tired of writing the same article over and over? Not to mention that tired argument has been around 20+ years before she ever stared parroting it.

    If you're going to continue to offend me, at least give me something exciting and new, please.

  • For our trans brothers and sisters, this is the last piece of legislation that needs to be passed in order to make Maryland equal in every way!

  • I vote in Dist 18 and helped elect Senator Madaleno. I am proud of this faith-based progressive legislation to advance justice for all Marylanders. Go SB 449!

  • Does Brennan ever get tired of the negative attention she gets from being a pretend internet villain? No. No she does not.

  • Cathey Brennan is a lawyer. Works a Hudson Cook in Hanover MD. I would suggest our friends and allies take their business elsewhere.
    http://planetransgender.blogspot.com/2012/07/catherine-brennans-sorry-for-you-dick.html

  • Thanks for posting this. It's unfortunate that the Gay Male and Trans Woman Communities think they need to break the backs of Women in order to "gain rights" for Trans Women. It doesn't have to be that way. There's a reason why it is.

    • Perhaps Brennan and her Brennanites need to get back in the kitchen and make the grownups some sammiches.

      • I am certainly NOT in agreement with the views expressed by Ms Brennan, nor others who believe transgender people should not have equality. Even when they go as far as to make disparaging claims, using flawed grounds which equate to unwarranted propositions.

        However, sexist and abuser’s language such as “sammiches” is offensive to survivors of assault and abuse.

        Discourse is not served. Please refrain from such comments.

  • If I am reading this correctly. Brennan just said:

    Gay Male – Radfem definition of a trasngender woman.
    Trans Woman – Radfem definition of a transgender man.

    This correct Cathy? Just wanting to make sure I understand the context of your comment.

  • Shush, the grown-ups are talking.

  • Another piece on why sex discrimination is the way to go: http://sexnotgender.com/2013/01/29/sex-discrimination-as-legal-strategy/

  • CREO QUE TODAS LAS PERSONAS TRANS, DEBEMOS SER UNIDAS Y AYUDARNOS.

  • Cathy Brennan jumped the shark a while ago and has since launched horrific attacks against the trans community, specifically against trans women. I assure you, listening to what Brennan has to say when it comes to trans rights is not in the best interest of the trans community. If she suggests something for trans it has to be bad.

  • BTW, sexnotgender is a smoke screen. Do a search on some of the authors on the site and see what they really think about trans women. TW Extreme transphobia

  • What are the 16 states have passed laws that ban anti-trans discrimination?

    • FYI: the EEOC has been taking complaints from transgender Marylanders regarding discrimination since 2001. This bill is overbroad and redundant. The law already protects people regardless of sex.

      • “the EEOC has been taking complaints from transgender Marylanders regarding discrimination since 2001″

        The issue here, however, is Maryland state law – and no one has ever been able to point to any relevant, binding, published, findable-by-non-attorneys aspect of Maryland state law which explicitly states that trans people AS TRANS PEOPLE have anti-discrimination protection under Maryland state law.

        In that sense, 2013 would be shaping up to be the same as 2011, which shaped up to be the same as 2001.

        Have a nice day!

    • FYI: the EEOC has been taking complaints from transgender Marylanders regarding discrimination since 2001. This bill is overbroad and redundant. The law already protects people regardless of sex.

    • The EEOC may take complaints from transgender people, but they do NOT state that they protect individuals based on being transgender or gender nonconforming. The EEOC fights discrimination on sex and sexuality which are often confused as being the same thing. These issues are similar, but not the same thing. So I disagree with you Meredith Moise, we do need laws to protect gender variance!

      ….back to my question- What are the 16 states have passed laws that ban anti-trans discrimination?

    • Actually Meredith, no. It was not until the Macy v. Holder case, did the EEOC issue a ruling in 2012 that discrimination based on sex includes non conformity to gender. We've heard the same misinformation in Maryland in respect to the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights. Glendora Hughes, General Counsel for MCoCR has repeated stated her commission will not take cases based on gender non conformity even after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Glenn v. Brumby. She has testified on behalf of laws to protect Marylanders based on gender identity and gender non-conformity.She certainly doesn't think they are overbroad and redundant and its her commission who's job it is to enforce these laws.

      Budah, here are the States, and the language used:
      http://transmaryland.blogspot.com/p/language-of-gender-identity.html

    • Meredith Moise , for the record, that's an interesting perspective for a Policy Advisory Board member of Gender Rights Maryland.

    • Thank you for the info Jenna Fischetti!
      …and I am shocked that she is supposed to be fighting for gender rights! I think transgender and gender variant people need all the help we can get. Wow…disturbing…

    • Budah QueerJamerican No problem, thanks for stopping by TransMaryland.org to check out that link I sent you! Did you get to Creating Change this year in Atlanta?

      The lack of trans folks from Maryland on the Policy Advisory Board or the "brain trust" as GRMD calls it, is shocking. I believe 2 out of 17 are Transgender Marylanders. It makes one wonder how an organization can claim to represent a community it has no accountability to, nor does it outreach into. It explains how someone on their "brain trust" opposes trans protections. Head-scratcher if you ask me.

  • Thank you very much for this law, which indicates that the Justice and Equality and I hope this legislation in all countries of the world in order to do justice to the transgender.
    Thank you

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