Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley on
Thursday signed a law outlawing discrimination against transgender
“Signed the Fairness for All
Marylanders Act today,” O'Malley tweeted to his nearly 52,000
He added in a second message: “In MD,
we've passed marriage equality, outlawed discrimination against
transgender MDers, and extended health benefits to same-sex couples.”
The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of
2014 (SB 212) prohibits discrimination in the areas of employment,
housing, credit and public accommodations on the basis of gender
identity or expression.
Senator Richard S. Madaleno, an openly
gay Montgomery County Democrat who for eight years championed the
bill in the Senate, was handed the pen O'Malley used to sign the
transgender protection law.
“It provides important protections
for people who are just trying to live their lives,” Madaleno
said after the ceremony.
Last month, a group of Republican
lawmakers opposed to the measure launched a ballot initiative to
repeal the law. Opponents have dubbed the legislation the “Bathroom
Bill” and its repeal campaign includes imagery of a stick-figure
man climbing over a bathroom stall to reach a stick-figure woman.
Delegate Neil C. Parrott said repeal
was needed because the law “opens it up to predators … who will
take advantage and go into the opposite-sex bathroom.”
However, a last-minute amendment to the
bill added to counter such claims defines gender identity as being
“sincerely held as part of the person's core identity.”