Who We Are
Equality Maryland (formerly Free State Justice) is Maryland’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, with thousands of members across the entire state.
Our mission is to make life better for LGBT Marylanders.
Equality Maryland is a member organization of Equality Federation, a national coalition of statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender advocacy organizations, working to secure full civil rights in every U.S. state and territory. For more information, visit the Equality Federation website at www.equalityfederation.org
What We Do
Equality Maryland works to secure and protect the rights of LGBT Marylanders by promoting legislative initiatives on the state, county and municipal levels. Our professional lobbyists and legislative team work with our allies in the General Assembly to shape and pass positive legislation in Annapolis and to beat back discriminatory legislation.Equality Maryland’s sister arm, the Equality Maryland Foundation, works to eliminate prejudice and discrimination against LGBT Marylanders through outreach, education, research, community organizing, training and coalition building.
- We act as an advocate for LGBT Marylanders.
- We aim to empower ordinary citizens to become extraordinary activists.
- We work to provide a strong and unified voice for LGBT concerns in the media.
- We will tirelessly toil until equal protection under the law has been achieved for all members of our diverse community.
Begun in 1990 as Free State Justice, Equality Maryland has fought diligently in the state capitol and other counties and cities to win equal rights. In 2001, we succeeded at a ten-year effort to win an anti-discrimination law in the state that protects Marylanders from discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2002, we secured transgender anti-discrimination protections in Baltimore City.
Equality Maryland’s Board of Directors pools together men and women from across the state of Maryland. From Charles County and Baltimore to Hagerstown and Annapolis, our board is a geographically diverse group of gay men, lesbians, transgender individuals, straight allies, Democrats and Republicans.
Our Political Philosophy
As a non-partisan organization, Equality Maryland believes that equal protection under the law for LGBT Marylanders and families headed by same-sex couples is not and should not be a partisan issue. LGBT Marylanders are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and vote in virtually every county in Maryland. While few of us under the LGBT umbrella are single-issue voters, most of us do attach significant weight to the rhetoric and votes that surround the question of our civil rights. Therefore, it is vital to reach out to all fair-minded elected officials to seek understanding and advocacy on behalf of our civil rights.