New Maryland law makes transgender discrimination illegal

ANNAPOLIS, Maryland Thu May 15, 2014 4:43pm EDT

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ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (Reuters) - Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley on Thursday signed into law a bill banning discrimination against transgender people, the latest in a series of progressive measures approved by the Democrat.

The measure prohibits discrimination on matters relating to housing, employment, credit and use of public restrooms, the latter of which drew fire from Republican opponents who labeled the measure a "bathroom bill."

"The way this poorly-crafted law was written, allows a man, who sincerely believes in his heart that he is a woman, to have access to the bathroom, changing room, or locker room where there are women and little girls," said Kathy Szeliga, a Republican member of the state's House of Delegates. "This is just not right."

Republican opponents have launched a drive to try to repeal the measure via a ballot initiative.

O'Malley called the measure an "important step to protect the dignity and equal rights of all Marylanders."

U.S. attitudes on transgendered people, who identify as belonging to a gender not represented by their born physical characteristics, are showing signs of changing.

Maryland is the 18th U.S. state to pass a law protecting transgender people from discrimination and U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday said the military should review its ban on transgendered people serving in its ranks.

Maryland has increasingly passed liberal policies during O'Malley's eight years as governor. In 2012, the state legalized same-sex marriages and passed The Dream Act, a law that provides benefits for illegal immigrants. Last year, legislators repealed the death penalty and passed some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.

(Editing by Scott Malone and Tom Brown)

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Comments (4)
gcf1965 wrote:
“important step to protect the dignity and equal rights of all Marylanders.” – Ignore the rights of the vast majority to cater to the vocal and depraved few (not even enough to call a minority). Dems and liberals are disgusting.

May 15, 2014 4:56pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:
@’gcf1965′, fortunately, “the vast majority” of Americans reject your bigotry and intolerant views toward our fellow Americans. Your views represent a quickly shrinking minority.

Considering the pronounced intolerance you espouse in many or most of your forum posts, your expressed disapproval of “Dems and liberals”, is in actuality a complementary acknowledgement of their humanity in contrast to your proudly espoused inhumanity toward your fellow human beings.

May 15, 2014 6:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
QuidProQuo wrote:
Transgender? What the heck does that even mean? An in between gender of undefined association? How can anyone be forced to not discriminate against hiring someone who clearly might not be a “good fit” in an organization. Law saying that someone has to be hired if they are transgender over someone else just to avoid some threatened lawsuit? I think if someone is trying to “work through” their gender issues, that is their issue to deal with and no one else needs to be forced to work through it with them. Sorry, but I am not going to be told I cannot make a hiring decision based on what I think is best for the morale and comfort of my staff. So sue me.

May 16, 2014 10:44am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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