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Maryland

Ben Cardin will not run for reelection after five decades in politics

U.S. senator announced retirement on Monday

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U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin speaks at a press conference where $4 million dollars of federal funding was given to Baltimore's historic Arena Players. (Photo by Kaitlin Newman/The Baltimore Banner)

By Pamela Wood | U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin will not seek re-election to the U.S. Senate after three terms, ending a career in public service that spanned more than half a century and opening up a potential scramble among politicians to replace him.

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

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Maryland

Moore issues Pride month proclamation

Governor on May 3 signed Trans Health Equity Act

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Thursday proclaimed June as Pride month in recognition of  “the contributions, resilience, courage and joy of LGBTQIA+ Marylanders,” according to a press release.

“In Maryland, we lead with love and inclusion. I want everyone in our LGBTQIA+ community to know that they deserve to be seen for who they are, and our administration will stand with them in the fight for equality and equity,” Moore said. “We need to elevate the stories, embrace the courage, and celebrate the humanity of our LGBTQIA+ community — and as long as I am governor, we will take the steps forward to protect and celebrate all Marylanders.”

Moore on March 31 became the first governor in Maryland history to recognize the Transgender Day of Visibility and last month he signed into law the Trans Health Equity Act into law, which requires Maryland Medicaid to provide coverage for gender-affirming care beginning next year.

“This month is a celebration of the beauty and uniqueness of the queer community, but it’s also a time to reaffirm our commitment to uplifting LGBTQIA+ Marylanders and continuing to fight against hatred, discrimination, and bigotry,” Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller said in the same press release that Moore’s office released. “LGBTQIA+ Marylanders deserve to be who they are, to live their pride — without fear or having to hide. This administration will always stand alongside and protect the rights of all Marylanders.”

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Maryland

Bill to repeal Md. sodomy law to take effect without governor’s signature

Lawmakers approved measure during 2023 legislative session

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore on Friday announced he will allow a bill that repeals the state’s Unnatural or Perverted Sexual Practices Act to become law without his signature.

State Dels. David Moon (D-Montgomery County) and Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) introduced House Bill 131. State Sen. Clarence Lam (D-Baltimore and Howard Counties) put forth an identical measure in the Maryland Senate.

The General Assembly in 2020 repealed the law’s “sodomy” provision.

“I’m pleased that this bill has now become law, and this is a real and hard-fought win for the LGBTQ community. This was a long-overdue update to the existing law to remove an outdated provision,” Lam told the Washington Blade in a statement. “While we had wanted to remove this provision from the law years ago when sodomy was struck from the statute, opponents fought to keep this with reassurance that it would unlikely ever be used to criminally charge individuals. And just the very next year, the Harford County sheriff’s office used this part of the statute to arrest individuals at a private business.”

“It is unfortunate that it took so long to correct this in the law, but I’m glad to see that this misguided part of the statute is now finally gone,” added Lam. “I appreciate the sustained efforts and patience of all of the advocates who saw this bill through final passage. Even though it took a while, this win is something the LGBTQ community should be proud of and find reassuring.”

Moore, a Democrat, earlier this month signed the Trans Health Equity Act, which requires Maryland’s Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming treatment.

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Maryland

Joe Vogel announces run for Congress

Openly gay Gen Z delegate took office in January

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Maryland state Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County) at the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund National Champagne Brunch in D.C. on April 23, 2023. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Maryland state Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery County) on Monday announced he is running for Congress.

“We need a new generation of leaders in Washington who understand exactly what’s at stake in this moment,” said the Montgomery County Democrat in his campaign announcement. “We just can’t wait to end gun violence, secure our rights, protect our democracy and save our planet.”

Vogel, 26, was born in Uruguay. 

The openly gay Democrat has represented District 17 in the Maryland House of Delegates in January. Vogel would represent Maryland’s 6th Congressional District if he were to win election in 2024.

Democratic Congressman David Trone, who currently represents the district, last week announced he is running for retiring U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.)’s seat.

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