Friday, 08 April 2011 16:58

Maryland Senate Heard Gender Identity Act's Testimony

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The committee of the senate met yesterday in Maryland about the gender identity anti-discrimination act.

The facture HB 235 which would prohibit discrimination against transgenders in employment, housing and credit had passed the House last month but was almost dead in the senate at the beginning. After efforts by constituents like Equality maryland  and elected officials, the senate president, Thomas V. "Mike" Miller decided to move the bill to the judicial proceedings committee.

“The Judiciary Proceedings Committee may vote as early as tomorrow. Advocates hope to see H.B. 235 favorably reported out of committee and sent to the full senate where they are working hard to shore up the necessary majority.”

"Equality Maryland remains committed to doing all that we can to move this critical legislation forward in time for full passage this year. With just a few days left we're in a difficult struggle for these important protections,” said Morgan Menses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland.

Let's hope that this time it will works.

So during this session of Thursday, the senate heard the testimony of the defenders and the opponents.

“We don't support H.B. 235 because it excludes public accommodations protections,” said Ashley Love, who testified in opposition with Jenna Fischetti of Trans Maryland and others. “Our goal is to see the day that the governor signs gender identity anti-discrimination protections, covering public accommodations, into law. We'll accept nothing less.”

Dana Beyer, a transgender advocate, said the committee could vote in time to have the full senate considering the bill Friday and was optimist based on the last-minute revival of the bill this week.

“I think we have enough strong Democrats who are willing to do the right thing on the judicial proceedings committee, and we know we have commitments on the senate floor," she said. "The question is, will they be there at the end of the day? Nobody is resting on their laurels.”