Monday, April 11, 2011

Maryland Senate Fails To Pass Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act

The Maryland Senate failed to pass the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act today, which would have prohibited discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and credit. In a move similar to last month's marriage equality vote, the Senate today voted to recommit the bill to committee. The House previously passed the bill in an 86-52 vote.

Transgender Marylanders experienced poverty (making under $10,000 per year) nearly three times the national average; 12 percent reported experiencing homelessness; 17 percent said they were denied a home/apartment due to being transgender; and 22 percent reported having to find temporary spaces to stay in an attempt to avoid homelessness.

Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force issued this statement:

"The Maryland Senate today turned its back on an opportunity to recognize and affirm our common humanity. As the startling statistics and heart-wrenching personal stories found in our national survey on transgender discrimination show, this bill would literally save lives. Income from employment is critical to paying for shelter, food, health care — critical to quality of life and even to survival. No one should fear being jobless, homeless and going hungry because of discrimination. Without legal protections, transgender people are made particularly vulnerable to this neglect, bias and abuse. Despite this setback, we are confident that Maryland will eventually join the many states that currently extend the essential security and nondiscrimination protections to transgender people. We will continue to stand with Equality Maryland until equality is achieved."

The Free State isn't feeling so free at the moment.

Check this out too, if you've a moment.

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