Equality Maryland seeks to end discrimination against lesbian, gay bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in our lives as residents of Maryland, citizens of the United States, and neighbors in towns and cities across this great state. Equality Maryland aims to provide visibility for the LGBT Marylanders across the State and in the media, and to discredit the false and irrational arguments used by our opponents to create a climate of fear and stigmatize our community.
Equality Maryland is working to address a wide range of issues that affect LGBT Marylanders.
- Equality Maryland expects workplace decisions to be based on an individual’s qualifications and job skills. We ask other jurisdictions to follow the progressive lead of Baltimore City in outlawing discrimination based on gender identity and expression.
- Equality Maryland reasonably expects the inclusion of crimes motivated by sexual orientation and gender identity in Maryland’s already-existing hate crimes statute.
- Equality Maryland believes all Marylanders deserve a sense of safety and security that most people take for granted in schools, on the streets, and in our communities. We envision a society where we can take our partner’s hand on the sidewalk without fear of physical violence.
- Equality Maryland believes statewide education about LGBT individuals and families is necessary to shape the debate about marriage equality in Maryland. The thousands of Maryland families headed by same-sex couples need the crucial rights, benefits and responsibilities that accompany a marriage license. Committed couples seeking to marry deserve the legal tools to properly care for each other and their families.
- As Equality Maryland advocates for marriage equality for same-sex couples, we welcome steps towards full equality by: highlighting and campaigning for specific legal incidents of marriage; seeking equal pay for equal work through domestic partner benefits; leveraging public tax dollars , through equal benefits laws, away from companies that discriminate; declaring our relationships of mutual support, commitment, and responsibility through domestic partner registries.
- Equality Maryland understands that most LGBT individuals feel they did not “choose” to be gay, and that all major medical and mental health associations in the United States agree that sexual orientation is not something that one can simply change. These mainstream psychological associations also believe that “reparative therapy” is psychologically harmful. Equality Maryland believes that the question of whether or not sexual orientation is a choice is not important when discussing rights and protections for LGBT individuals and families. Rights are rights. One’s religion, which is clearly a choice, receives equal protection under the law as race and gender. Equality Maryland is committed to speaking out against so-called reparative therapy, whose fundamental premise is that there is something inherently wrong with individuals who are not heterosexual.
In short, Equality Maryland is a voice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Marylanders, and our allies. Together, our diverse community works for equal protection and equal rights under Maryland law, and for the same fairness in all aspects of life that others take for granted.