Maryland is one of the states for which we have high hopes of passing a gender identity/expression anti-discrimination bill in 2007. It has been about five years since the state passed it’s sexual orientation protections. I have recently spoken with Equality Maryland folks as well as with openly gay Maryland State Senator Rich Madaleno (quoted n the linked article) and they are very optimistic for this year. They are not only optimistic, but committed and that matters a lot. NCTE Board of Directors member Donna Cartwright and NCTE Board of Advisor member Dr. Dana Beyer will be in the trenches with lots of other folks this year working on this effort.
Here is a link to an article in the Washington Blade today. Notice, the prominance of the discussion about the gender identity/expression bill.
For those of you keeping track, there are currently eight or nine states (see explanation below) that have legislatively enacted sexual orientation protections without gender identity/expression protections (CT, MA, MD, NH, NV, NY, VT, WI) A ninth state, Hawaii, has passed protections based on gender identity for housing and public accomodations, but the employment discrimination bill was vetoed in 2005 by Gov. Lingle who is therefore not on my Holiday cookie list. Thus far four states that previously had passed anti-discrimination laws for sexual orientation, amended further to include transpeople with gender identity/expression (CA, DC, NJ, RI). [Writer’s note: DC counts as a state–get used to it.] We hope Maryland will be on that list shortly.