Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said
Tuesday that he backs passage of a transgender protections bill, the
“I support it wholeheartedly,”
O'Malley told reporters after a morning press conference in which he
discussed his support for a gay marriage bill.
“I do support it. It won't be a part
of the legislative package, there are only a few things in the
legislative package,” he added.
If approved, the measure would ban
discrimination based on gender identity in the areas of employment,
housing and credit.
During last year's legislative session,
the measure fizzled in the Senate after passage in the House of
Several transgender activists last year
refused to back the bill after its lead sponsor, Delegate Joseline
Pena-Melnyk, submitted a last-minute alteration to the bill's
language that stripped it of its protections for public
accommodations, generally the most controversial provisions of such
Whether this year's bill will include
the extra protections remains to be seen.
Testifying before lawmakers, opponents
argued that such a law would hurt children.
“Children will then have to defend
their birth femininity or masculinity and they will be discriminated
against if they attempt to be the boy or the girl they were born to
be,” one opponent said.