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Transgender Rights Bill Signed Into Law by Governor

Opponents said the Maryland bill's wording could enable sexual predators to enter women’s bathrooms and they have begun a petition drive to overturn the transgender protection law.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law that prohibits job and housing discrimination based on gender identity, commonly known as the transgender rights bill. File|Patch
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley signed a bill into law that prohibits job and housing discrimination based on gender identity, commonly known as the transgender rights bill. File|Patch
A bill that prohibits job and housing discrimination based on gender identity, commonly known as the transgender rights bill, was signed into law by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley on Thursday.

Maryland joins at least 17 other states and 140 local jurisdictions that have passed similar legislation, according to a legislative analysis.

Similar proposals have been introduced in the Maryland legislature since 2007, but none made it through both houses. The measure will protect transgender people from housing, public accommodation and employment discrimination.

Baltimore City became the first jurisdiction in Maryland in 2002 to pass legislation protecting transgender rights. Montgomery County passed similar legislation in 2007, Howard County in 2011, and most recently, Hyattsville in 2013.

The governor handed the pen he used to sign the transgender law to Sen. Richard S. Madaleno, a Montgomery County Democrat who fought for eight years to convince his colleagues to pass it.

"It provides important protections for people who are just trying to live their lives," Madaleno told The Baltimore Sun. "They won't get thrown out of their homes, out of their jobs, out of a restaurant, just for being who they are."

Conservative opponents have launched a petition drive, hoping to collect enough signatures to put the transgender law up for a referendum vote in November, the Sun reports. Opponents have dubbed it the "Bathroom Bill" because it protects a person's right to use restrooms for the gender with which he or she identifies. They fear the law could protect male predators who sneak into women's restrooms, a charge the LBGT community has described as fear-mongering.

The measure was one of scores of bills the governor was scheduled to sign during the last scheduled public signing ceremony of his eight years as governor, The Baltimore Sun says.

Among the legislation also to receive the governor's signature are bills outlawing so-called "revenge porn" – posting intimate pictures on the Internet as a way of getting back at a former spouse or lover – and overhauling the state's speed camera law to add new safeguards for drivers from malfunctioning systems.


Related: Maryland Senate Passes Bill to Protect Transgender Rights

Transgender Rights Bill Awaits Final Vote in Maryland House
Gary Elwards May 16, 2014 at 07:56 PM
Ever wonder what happens to some of the comments? At the end of the article above it says there are 27 comments. There are only 26, and one of my comments is missing. I don't think it was particularly offensive, but even if the editors deleted it, shouldn't it say there are only 26 comments?
You May 16, 2014 at 08:44 PM
Facts are facts son. Btw I am seriously offended by your serious racially motivated insult of the President "the Chimp" and I am not F..KIN kidding. That is extremely NON AMERICAN and RUDE!!!! I feel your response should be forwarded to higher powers AND I am not joking! I have my rights to observe and live as I see right for society. I am law biding, honest and upfront. My facts are FACTS! Read up youngster and learn.
You May 16, 2014 at 09:00 PM
@ Mark it is public record that "Obama's" job creation <lol> is 82% part-time, minimum wage, seasonal or fast food! The Dow is NOT soaring... it has been day traders and minute buyers taking advantage of the market which is causing the spikes up and down... standard investors are doing poorly (look it up it is fact! Read the Wall Street Journal or daily invest briefs). Lastly, Obama just APPROVED a major law which gives back tons of power of to health insurance companies as of TODAY (they can now regulate how much they will pay for serious illnesses, which kicks pre-existing illnesses out the door, they can say $1000 and that's that... the rest is on you)! The IRS scandal was exposed and shoved under the rug by NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC and the like... have you read the Congressional hearing on this? Apparently not... Obama 100% knew of this and his cabinet sold him out on him knowing about it.... then it was swept under the rug by major news corps for more important things... like Hollywood scandals, murder trials 10,000 miles away, the Olympics, and the like. Wake up blind man!
elaine whitmore May 17, 2014 at 08:29 AM
I didn't know about obama giving the power back to Health Insurance companies. Omg. Is this real? The only Thing I thought he had done right! Smh. Wow. That stinks!!!!!!! Why would he do that?
DeDe May 17, 2014 at 11:14 AM
O'Malley is the worst governor Maryland has had, all he's done is raise taxes and drive people out of the state as well as business. Now as he leaves, Brown is trying to become governor who will be more of the same, he didn't have time to put together the health package for Maryland. O'Malley now has this law were transgender people can use the bathrooms they want, does that mean if I have pants on I can go in the men's room if the ladies room line is long and just say I'm transgender.

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