A bill which seeks to prohibit
discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, credit and public
accommodations on the basis of gender identity or expression cleared
the Maryland House of Delegates on Thursday.
The measure, known as SB 212, cleared
its final legislative hurdle with an 82-57 vote.
Democratic Governor Martin O'Malley,
who signed the state's marriage equality bill into law, has pledged
“I'm pleased the MD House of
Delegates has passed #SB212, protecting transgender people from
discrimination,” O'Malley tweeted. “Everyone deserves to be
treated equally with dignity and respect.”
Carrie Evans, executive director of
Equality Maryland, the state's largest LGBT advocate, applauded the
vote in a statement.
“This is the culmination of a very
long and sustained effort by Equality Maryland to ensure transgender
Marylanders are included in our state’s anti-discrimination laws,”
Evans said. “Today's win is the result of so many people and
organizations – transgender individuals and their families showing
up and telling their stories year after year, elected officials like
Senator Rich Madaleno and Delegates Luke Clippinger, Bonnie Cullison
and Joseline Peña-Melynk , many years of dedicated and committed
Equality Maryland Board and staff, amazing coalition partners like
the Human Rights Campaign and so many more people and organizations
that we will highlight in the coming months.”
A similar measure died in the Senate
after passage in the House in 2011.
This year's effort was boosted by an
amendment aimed at derailing the argument that such a law would allow
men claiming to be women access to womens' restrooms. The amendment
defines gender identity as being “sincerely held as part of the
person's core identity.”