Today, led by Sen. DeGrange, the Senate referred House Bill 235, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, back to the Judicial Proceedings Committee by a vote of 27-20, effectively ending efforts to pass vital protections in housing, employment, and credit for transgender Marylanders.
Senators Kasemeyer (D-12), Klausmeier (D-8), McFadden (D-45), Middleton (D-28), Robey (D-13) and Zirkin (D-11) were expected to support ending discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment, and credit, but voted instead to recommit the anti-discrimination bill.
Equality Maryland's Executive Director, Morgan Meneses-Sheets:
"Six Senators who committed to support HB 235 took a walk on justice and fairness today and turned their backs on the most vulnerable members of our community. We are appalled that lawmakers continue to play politics with much needed protections for the transgender community.
We must not forget all the positive strides we accomplish as a community this year overcoming significant hurdles, including getting this legislation out of the Senate Rules Committee. Supporters of this critical legislation made hundreds of phone calls and sent thousands of emails to their legislators. Countless members of the transgender community shared their very personal stories of discrimination. We are grateful to them for their courage and to every supporter who made their voice heard on this important bill.
Equality Maryland remains committed to fighting against discrimination and injustice targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community at every turn. Progress takes time. Today's result was not fair or right, but we will keep up the fight to make the Free State truly free."