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NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | March 4, 2014
The Maryland Senate approved a bill Tuesday that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people. The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which passed the Senate, 32-15, now goes to the House of Delegates. The measure would expand Maryland's anti-discrimination laws to protect transgender people in employment, housing, access to credit and public accommodations. Four localities — Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard and Montgomery counties — already bar discrimination based on gender identity, but there is not a state law against it. "I think we're ready to move ahead and be progressive," said Sen. Delores G. Kelly, a Baltimore County Democrat, who argued that transgender civil rights ought to be protected statewide.
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FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | March 3, 2014
Tomi B. Finkle started her law enforcement career with the U.S. Capitol Police in the late 1970s, when she was a man. By the time she retired as a sergeant in 2002, she was ready to begin a new life as a woman. The Charles County resident continued to pursue public service, and her passion for horseback riding, in her volunteer work with a regional mounted search-and-rescue team. But when she volunteered to ride with a new mounted patrol unit she says she helped Howard County police create, she was turned down.
NEWS
By Tim Wheeler and The Baltimore Sun | February 28, 2014
A bill that would protect transgender people from discrimination in jobs, housing and other areas gained preliminary approval Friday in the Senate. Transgender discrimination already is barred by local ordinance in some areas, including Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Montgomery County. The Senate measure would extend transgender rights statewide, making explicit that people may not be denied jobs, housing or access to public facilities on the basis of their gender identity, even if different than the sex they were assigned at birth.  Although laws already bar discrimination on the basis of sex or sexual orientation, courts have not held them to apply to claims of transgender discrimination.
FEATURES
By Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun | February 4, 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.
NEWS
January 29, 2014
Hurray for speaking out on behalf of proposed law that sets the expectations that people be treated equally ( "Time for 'Chrissy's Law,'" Jan. 20). I take exception to your title for this important law, however. It is officially called "The Fairness to All Marylanders Act of 2014. " My exception isn't caused by any lack of concern for how Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman, was treated. It was appalling. In fact, so appalling that I was the primary organizer for the rally at McDonald's that was attended by hundreds and covered by national and local media.
FEATURES
By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | January 28, 2014
Maryland's insurance regulator issued a bulletin Tuesday clarifying that while insurance policies in the state do not have to cover treatments related to gender reassignment, insurance carriers cannot discriminate against transgender Marylanders based on their gender identities. The bulletin addresses an exclusion in the plan Maryland used to define "essential benefits" that insurance in policies in Maryland are required to cover under the Affordable Care Act. In the plan, the Maryland Insurance Administration allowed insurers to exclude "treatment leading to or in connection with transsexualism, or sex changes or modifications" including sexual reassignment surgery.
NEWS
January 9, 2014
It was with dismay that I read the anecdote involving a blind man used by Diane Brown in her opinion article on Megyn Kelly [Jan. 2].  Brown's interpretation of her encounter with the blind man leads me to conclude that Brown may suffer from the same inability to "see" demonstrated by Kelly. Brown summarizes an incident involving a blind man who provided aid to a group of women requiring auto repair assistance.  When asked about his blindness, the man replied:  "It's OK, at least I'm not black.
NEWS
By Harry Knox | December 9, 2013
House Speaker John Boehner has said he would oppose a landmark gay-rights bill, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), because its religious exemption is not broad enough. But the House speaker has it backward. The current religious exemption in ENDA is already too wide. For advocates of religious freedom like me, there is a crucial principle at stake: Religious exemptions should never become a tool of discrimination. They should be narrowly tailored to reduce the burden on a person's free exercise of religion.
FEATURES
By Carrie Wells, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2013
A fraternity chapter at Morgan State accused of discriminating against a student because he is gay has been placed on probation until fall 2015, university officials said Tuesday. In late October, senior Brian Stewart filed a formal complaint with the university alleging that the chapter rejected him because he is gay, offering derogatory social media messages he said were sent between fraternity members as proof. Morgan spokesman Jarrett Carter Sr. said a disciplinary panel investigating the complaint found that the Alpha Iota chapter violated university policies on discrimination.
NEWS
By Lauren Young | November 28, 2013
In the 19th and 20th centuries, cities across the country banned people with disabilities from begging in public. The laws targeted people with "physical and mental deformities," "imperfect bodies reduced by amputation" and "imbeciles. " Known as "ugly laws," their effect was to push people with disabilities out of public sight while further impoverishing them. While those laws have since been repealed, recent efforts in Baltimore city and county hearken back to them. A push to further criminalize panhandling in the city directly affects those with disabilities, because they constitute a substantial number of our city's beggars.
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