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Federal court rules UMMS discriminated against transgender man

St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson denied complainant a hysterectomy

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A federal judge ruled that St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson had discriminated against a transgender man. (Photo courtesy of St. Joseph Medical Center)

A federal judge ruled Friday that the University of Maryland Medical System discriminated against a transgender man who was denied a hysterectomy at the St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner website.

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Maryland

Md. House of Delegates approves transgender rights bill

State Medicaid program would be required to cover gender-affirming treatment

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Md. state Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City) speaks at a press conference for the Trans Health Equity Act in Annapolis, Md., on Feb. 14, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Linus Berggren)

The Maryland House of Delegates on Saturday approved a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 93-37 vote margin. The measure now goes before the Maryland Senate.

“Proud that the MD House of Delegates passed the Trans Health Equity Act with such a strong majority,” tweeted state Del. Anne Kaiser (D-Montgomery County), who introduced HB 283.

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Maryland

Man charged with ‘groomer’ vandalism arrested in child porn case

Move came eight months after police seized laptop during search of home

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Charles Sutherland (Photo courtesy of the Prince George's County Police Department)

A Takoma Park, Md., man who was arrested last June on two counts of hate-related destruction of property for allegedly spray painting the word “groomer” on two public library buildings he told police were supportive of the LGBTQ community was arrested again on Feb. 3 for possession of child pornography.

According to charging documents filed in the District Court of Maryland in Rockville, Montgomery County police charged Charles M. Sutherland, 31, with six counts of misdemeanor possession of child pornography.

The charging documents state that the latest arrest is based on information obtained by police at the time Sutherland was charged last June in the spray-painting incident. At that time, the documents state, Sutherland waived his Miranda rights to remain silent, admitting to the vandalism allegations, and consented to a search of his residence.

The charging documents state that inside his apartment at 116 Lee Ave. in Takoma Park, police “observed numerous diapers, children’s dolls, and a child sized doll in the bed of Sutherland.” One of the charging documents adds, “According to Sutherland he has no children or nieces or nephews. Sutherland also stated that he had images consistent with child pornography on a laptop in his residence.”

That admission by Sutherland prompted Prince George’s County police to obtain a search warrant that enabled them to locate and seize the laptop, the charging document says. For reasons not explained, the charging document says it took until Jan. 11, 2023, about seven months, for a digital forensic examination of the laptop to be completed.

It says that on Jan. 31, P.G. County police arranged for a Montgomery County police detective to view video files and other images on the laptop that had been taken from Sutherland’s apartment. The charging document says most of the files consist of video images of a “prepubescent female’s vagina displayed as a focal point.” It says one of the files consists of an “image of prepubescent male with buttocks displayed.”

The online docket for the Maryland District Court for Montgomery County says a judge ordered Sutherland held without bond at the time he appeared in court for a bond hearing on March 1. 

WTOP News has reported that Sutherland is a librarian who at the time of his first arrest for vandalism last June had been working at Northview Elementary School in Bowie, Md. The school system has said Southerland was placed on administrative leave at that time. 

Court records show that a jury trial on the vandalism charges for Sutherland was scheduled for Aug. 8, 2023.

Neither Sutherland nor his attorney could be immediately reached for comment.

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Maryland

Md. House committee advances transgender health care bill

HB 283 would require state Medicaid to cover gender-affirming treatment

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The Maryland House of Delegates’ Health and Operations Committee on Wednesday advanced a bill that would require the state’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment for transgender people.

House Bill 283, or the Trans Health Equity Act, passed by a 17-6 vote margin.

The committee held a hearing on the measure last month. The Maryland Senate Finance Committee on Feb. 28 heard testimony on an identical measure that has been introduced in the state Senate.

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee on Wednesday held a hearing on Senate Bill 761, which would improve conditions for trans and nonbinary people in the state’s correctional facilities. The House Judiciary Committee on Feb. 21 held a hearing on an identical measure, Senate Bill 453, or the Transgender Respect, Agency and Dignity Act.

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