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NEWS
February 25, 2011
I refer to this article "Transgender woman found dead struggled for acceptance" (Feb. 22). This is a very sad story, and compounding the sadness is The Baltimore Sun's apparent refusal to consistently use "she" and "her" as pronouns to refer to a woman living and identifying as female, and by using the former name as the "official" one and putting the identity she used in quotes. You can't help that some of the quotes use "he," that's what the person actually said, but material written by the newspaper itself should consistently show respect to the deceased's gender identity.
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NEWS
June 2, 2014
As a supporter of the Fairness For All Marylander's Act, I want to thank The Sun for running Kevin Rector's article, "Transgender student named prom queen at Baltimore high school" (May 28). When Destiny Hartis graduates, leaves Baltimore and crosses over into Anne Arundel County to attend a nursing program, all of her basic rights will travel with her thanks to the Fairness For All Marylanders Act. Prior to this update to our anti-discrimination law, Ms. Harris would have lost the rights she had at home in Baltimore City the moment she crossed over into Anne Arundel County.
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NEWS
March 31, 2014
Transgender people, like all people, should be protected against illegal discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. The legislation about bathroom access, however, is a different story, opening doors, literally, to predators and voyeurs in restrooms and other places ( "Gender identity protected," March 28). The ugly case of the assault on Crissy Polis is tirelessly cited as proof that some new law was needed to protect "trannies. " But Ms. Polis' race was much more the cause of her being beaten so brutally than her transgender status.
FEATURES
Andrea K. Walker, The Baltimore Sun | June 1, 2014
A conservative group trying to force a referendum on a transgender rights law scheduled to take effect this fall did not get the required signatures needed to bring the issue to a vote. The group, MDPetitions.com , was attempting to get 18,500 signatures by midnight Saturday to get the issue on the November ballot, but said on its website it was about 1,000 shy. "It is difficult to come this close and then fall short, and yet we know that it was only through this effort that people became aware of the effects of this bill," Washington County Del. Neil Parrott, a Republican who chairs MDPetitions.com, said in a letter on the group's website.
NEWS
March 27, 2014
If this coming November Maryland Republicans look back at the election results and wonder what went wrong, they may want to start with Thursday's vote by the House of Delegates in which every member of their party in attendance voted against a bill to ban discrimination against transgender individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations. That's not a shock, but it's still a disappointment. It appears GOP delegates in the Free State are taking a cue from their right-wing peers in the U.S. House of Representatives and opposing equal accommodations for a group often targeted for violence and discrimination.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Janis and Special to b | April 28, 2011
When Erin Jennings walks out of her Bel Air home, she wears a dress. With a barrette on her short cropped hair, Jennings, who is still biologically male, has recently begun what is known as a “transition”: the process of changing her appearance to align it with the gender she feels defines her. “I grew up in Texas and my step-father always wanted me to play sports and I wasn’t interested,” she said. “I always knew this was me.” Jennings, 26, along with dozens of fellow members of the Maryland transgender community, gathered at a McDonald’s in Rosedale Monday evening to show support for Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman who was repeatedly beaten inside the restaurant last week by two people who encountered her in the bathroom and accused her of being a man. The attack captured on a video has since garnered worldwide condemnation for its brutality as the duo was shown administering vicious head kicks followed by one woman dragging Polis across the floor by her hair as onlookers laughed.  “This is something that is too common,” said Jenna Fischetti, spokeswoman for the Transmaryland, a group that advocates for transgender people.
NEWS
February 20, 2012
Tuesday night, the Baltimore County Council has a chance to send a powerful message about equality and fairness to all Marylanders when it votes on a bill to extend the county's anti-discrimination laws to cover transgender people. In the county where transgender woman Chrissy Lee Polis was savagely beaten in a McDonald's because of her gender identity, this should be a no-brainer. But it has instead become embroiled in an emotionally driven but largely irrelevant debate over access to public restrooms.
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | November 20, 2011
After suffering a defeat in the state legislature, advocates pushing to bar discrimination against transgender people are looking to build protection into local laws - spurred on by a high-profile attack on a woman at a Baltimore County McDonald's last spring. On Monday, Howard County will become the latest local government to take up a bill that would add gender identity and expression to the county's anti-discrimination laws. The measure, which has the support of a majority of the County Council, would make Howard the third local government in Maryland to adopt such a measure.
NEWS
April 4, 2011
As voters we hope that our lawmakers make policy decisions based on the facts and their obligation to protect the best interest of our state's citizens. Right now it is a fact that 1 in 5 transgender Marylanders were fired and 12 percent have experienced homelessness because of who they are. More than 70 percent have been harassed on the job. This is unacceptable and must end this year! House Bill 235 provides critical job and housing protections based on gender identity. This bill is similar to laws that are already in place in Baltimore City and Montgomery County.
FEATURES
By Julie Scharper | November 13, 2013
The first time Kai Bacharach uttered his name — his male name, the one he chose for himself — was in the spring, at an event for students accepted to Goucher. For the first 18 years of life, Bacharach used the female name his parents bestowed at birth. But when it came time to start college this year, Bacharach decided to slough off an identity that never felt true. His professors, resident advisers and classmates all know him as Kai, a man. "It makes going back to see my family weird," said Bacharach, a Baltimore native who declined to reveal his birth name.
NEWS
May 4, 2014
These last few years will go down as a time when Marylanders took steps to recognize the humanity of those who have too often been marginalized. In 2011, the General Assembly voted to stop penalizing children whose parents brought them to the United States illegally when it came time for them to go to college, an important gesture in the nation's polarized immigration debate. In 2012, lawmakers extended equal rights to same-sex couples who wanted to marry. And in 2014, legislators reached out to perhaps the most marginalized group of all, those who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, by passing the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which Gov. Martin O'Malley plans to sign this month.
NEWS
By Chloe Schwenke | April 3, 2014
After Maryland passed a bill banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity last month, my job became a little easier. As a human rights activist, I work to secure progress in protecting human dignity, measured by civil and political rights. Among the people often specifically targeted for abuse are lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons. And of all those under the LGBTI banner, the "T" — or transgender population — is frequently the most vulnerable to vicious attacks, stigmatization, humiliation and abuse.
NEWS
March 31, 2014
Transgender people, like all people, should be protected against illegal discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodation. The legislation about bathroom access, however, is a different story, opening doors, literally, to predators and voyeurs in restrooms and other places ( "Gender identity protected," March 28). The ugly case of the assault on Crissy Polis is tirelessly cited as proof that some new law was needed to protect "trannies. " But Ms. Polis' race was much more the cause of her being beaten so brutally than her transgender status.
NEWS
March 27, 2014
If this coming November Maryland Republicans look back at the election results and wonder what went wrong, they may want to start with Thursday's vote by the House of Delegates in which every member of their party in attendance voted against a bill to ban discrimination against transgender individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations. That's not a shock, but it's still a disappointment. It appears GOP delegates in the Free State are taking a cue from their right-wing peers in the U.S. House of Representatives and opposing equal accommodations for a group often targeted for violence and discrimination.
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.
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.
NEWS
November 5, 2013
Most Americans believe that a person should not be discriminated against in the workplace because of sexual orientation. Polls have shown this consistently and strongly for years. So it shouldn't be too much of a shock if the U.S. Senate this week approves legislation to ban on-the-job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet it is a bit of an eye-opener. Not because it's not the right thing to do but because there are still so many lawmakers in Washington and around the country who favor discrimination.
NEWS
April 25, 2011
The savage assault on a transgender woman at a Rosedale McDonalds last week was exactly the kind of crime that lawmakers in this year's General Assembly had hoped to deter by extending anti-discrimination protections to people who openly change their gender identity. The measure was approved by the Maryland House of Delegates but was withdrawn in the Senate before it came to a vote there. Even if it had passed, it might not have changed how the Rosedale incident unfolded or how it will be handled by the criminal justice system.
FEATURES
By Michael Gold and The Baltimore Sun | February 13, 2014
Digital gender identity just became a lot less binary. Internet behemoth Facebook has added a customizable option to the gender field on its profiles, allowing users to identify beyond male and female. When editing their basic information, users are given the option to select "Custom" if they choose not to identify as male and female. A text box appears that allows users to type in options including trans, androgynous, intersex, genderqueer and more-specific denoters like "trans female" or "cis female.
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.
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