A press release that FreeState Justice released on Monday indicates the fund will “provide free legal representation to the LGBTQ community facing discrimination who could otherwise not afford it.” The press release also indicates Robert Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker — two Baltimore-area philanthropists who are long-time FreeState Justice supporters — provided a “generous contribution” to create the fund.
“Unfortunately, we know from experience how vulnerable the community is to discrimination,” said FreeState Justice Managing Attorney Jennifer Kent. “The fund will allow us to fight for LGBTQ Marylanders who have experienced discrimination in areas like health care, housing, education, detention, and public accommodations.”
Maryland law bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
FreeState Justice in its press release said it has seen “an increase in requests for help” in 2017. It also notes lawyers who volunteer their time with the organization have worked on nearly 150 discrimination cases in the state this year.
“The fund will allow FreeState to make more attorneys available, provide support in more communities across the state, and pay for clients’ filing fees and litigation expenses,” said FreeState Justice in its press release.