Advocates in General Assembly push for transgender rights

February 04, 2014
Transgender people and their advocates urged a panel of senators Tuesday to help make Maryland the 18th state to protect them from discrimination in housing, at work and in public places.
     Lawmakers have considered expanding anti-discrimination laws to include transgender people every year since 2007. But advocates say changing attitudes and a groundswell of high-profile support make 2014's debate different.
     Without state protection, they argue, transgender people can face difficulty getting credit cards and renting apartments. They can be forced to reveal their birth identity to employers or face getting fired, and businesses can choose not to serve them because of how they look, advocates said.
     Four large Maryland jurisdictions, including Baltimore City, have laws barring discrimination against transgender people. But at least half of the state's population lives in areas that do not have such laws.