Included among those testifying before the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee in Annapolis on behalf of SB212, the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, were Councilwoman Courtney Watson of Howard County and Councilman Tom Quirk of Baltimore County. Both represented jurisdictions where gender identity protections were enacted. Other jurisdictions that have such anti-discrimination laws in place in Maryland are Baltimore City, Montgomery County and the city of Hyattsville.
Howard County passed the law in December 2011, and Watson reported that since the law went into effect, there have been “no complaints, no problems.” Baltimore County enacted a similar law in February 2012. Quirk, who also testified that there have been no problems arising from the law, said that the current bill before the committee represents “a respect for human dignity.”
Alvin Gilliard, representing Baltimore’s Office of Civil Rights and Wage Enforcement, testified he was proud that Baltimore City was the first jurisdiction in the state to pass a non-discrimination law in 2002.