(Takoma Park, MD, December 6, 2011)—The National Center for Lesbian Rights applauds the Howard County Council for passing an ordinance to protect transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The Council voted 4-1 late yesterday to pass the measure. The county executive has 10 days in which to sign it. The ordinance goes into effect 61 days after it is signed and will be enforced by the Howard County Office of Human Rights.
Howard County is the third jurisdiction in Maryland to pass these basic protections for its transgender residents following Montgomery County (2007) and Baltimore City (2002). A statewide bill to protect transgender people from discrimination has been pending for several years, and a comprehensive version is expected to be introduced for the 2012 legislative session.
Statement by NCLR State Policy Director Liz Seaton, Esq.:
“We commend the Howard County Council for passing this measure to provide transgender people with needed protections from discrimination. The county joins a growing number of local and state jurisdictions across the country in updating its basic anti-discrimination laws to cover gender identity and expression. Howard County PFLAG initiated efforts for this ordinance and several PFLAG parents stepped forward to talk about the lives of their transgender children, making clear exactly why this law is needed. Gender Rights Maryland led efforts to bring local, state and national organizations and transgender people to testify in favor of this bill.”
NCLR Communications Director Erik Olvera | Office: 415.392.6257 x324 | EOlvera@NCLRights.org