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Trans Protections Next in Maryland?

Trans Protections Next in Maryland?

 

Fresh off the back of an albeit qualified victory for marriage equality in Maryland, attention now turns to passing nondiscrimination protections for Maryland’s trans citizens.

Via Metro Weekly:

The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee heard testimony on Tuesday, Feb. 28 from opponents and proponents of a proposed bill, SB 212, that would make discrimination based on gender identity or expression illegal in the areas of housing, employment and public accommodations.

A similar bill that did not include protections for public accommodations passed the House of Delegates last year, 86-52, but failed in the Senate. Advocates hope that this year, especially with marriage equality off the table, Senate President Thomas V. “Mike” Miller (D-Calvert, Prince George’s counties) will be more amenable to allowing an up-or-down vote by the full chamber.

“Marriage will be out of the Senate, and there will be no other ‘gay’ bills on the table, just our non-gay ‘gay’ bill,” Dana Beyer, executive director of the transgender rights organization Gender Rights Maryland, had told Metro Weekly after the Baltimore County Council passed protections for sexual orientation and gender identity at a Feb. 21 meeting.

As mentioned above, a state-wide bill to ban discrimination based on gender identity or expression floundered last year. The bill was controversial among trans rights groups because it failed to cover trans citizens in the public accommodations sector, an oversight that trans groups said left them vulnerable, and something legislators would be unlikely to later go back and remedy. It is hoped that, perhaps emboldened by Governor O’Malley’s vocal support, no such compromise will be offered this time.

Debate surrounding trans nondiscrimination legislation usually brings out some awful shows of ignorance, and the Senate Committee hearing this time was, according to reports, no different.

From the Washington Blade:

Similar to a hearing on the bill last year, witnesses testifying against the bill, among other things, said it would endanger women by allowing male “cross dressers” to use women’s bathrooms in public places. Supporters called that claim baseless, saying no problems have surfaced concerning bathrooms in jurisdictions across the country that have passed similar non-discrimination laws, including Baltimore City and Montgomery County in Maryland.

A further hearing on the bill has yet to be scheduled.

As mentioned above, Baltimore County Council recently passed a bill that would ban discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity. Read more on that here.

 

Related Reading:
Maryland House Sends Marriage Equality Bill Back to Committee
Maryland Transgender Protections Bill Killed by Senate
Hate Crimes Charges in Maryland Anti-Trans Attack


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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to kaitlyn tikkun.

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21 comments

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6:56AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

9:12AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Women should be safe in their public restrooms from men of any kind, cross-dressers (who are often straight) and trans men gay or straight....not that any of those types are more prone to being rapists or peepers but women should not have to fear them in a ladies' bathroom. Perhaps trans people should use the family' single stall bathrooms many places have, but alas many places only have 2 multi stall male and female restrooms and a trans person..or say a mother with a young boy or a father with a young daughter run into these problems of which bathroom to sue without offending others.

4:30AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Attendants in the bathrooms would solve two problems: protect women from the fear of rapists in bathrooms (it's not common at all, but it has happened, so it's an understandable fear) and more importantly to protect trans people, who are much more likely to become victims of violence in bathrooms. Unisex bathrooms with attendants would be best for everyone: women, trans people, single parents of opposite sex children... everyone who is endangered or inconvenienced by the current setup.

I hope the non-discrimination law passes.

3:07AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Thanks.

2:35AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Great, thanks.

8:23PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

John M

Desite what you may think, being transgender is NOT a choice. They've done studies that show that people who identify as the opposite sex actually have the brains of the opposite sex. So it is simply that our bodies do not match our brains.

As for the commecnt in the article about women having to worry about male "cross-dressers", where I live (in Canada), there are a lot of gender neutral/family bathrooms in many businesses. Despite that there are men and women sharing the same bathroom, we haven't had any problems, so why would women in Maryland have to worry about people who are, mentally, the same as them?

It's ridiculous. We are all human beings, and we should all have equal rights, the fact that I'm trans doesn't make me any less human. Nor does my sexual orientation, race, religion, or the color of my eyes. It's the 21st century, it's time to get with the program. We are ALL human, it's time to start acting like it.

7:54PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

What Kristina C said.....

7:53PM PST on Mar 4, 2012

About time, really. Sad that they need to pass laws like this at all.

8:59AM PST on Mar 4, 2012

It is shameful that we even have to vote on the rights of people. Are we not all people - and deserve the same protections! We all pay taxes, work and live our lives.
It is unconstitutional to exclude a minority of people with a different DNA pool.
And the bathroom issue is about the most ignorant concern I have ever heard. Transsexuals are not cross-dressers - and are women anyway - so what would I have to fear from another woman in the bathroom - stupidity!
I bet the men don;t care to have a female-male transsexual using their rest room!

4:09PM PST on Mar 3, 2012

It's a shame that people even consider it an issue whether or not the rights of everyone should be protected.

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