EQMD's continued search for persons of any unbiased basis to support HB235, EQMD has published a statement by Rev. Lisa Ward, Unitarian Church of Harford County. In response, Tom Lang, Director of KnowThyNeighbor.org, a grassroots, non-profit organization promoting dialogue on equal rights for gay citizens, couples, and their children offered this.
I have a suggestion regarding HB235. Obviously you know that the TG/TS community has history with EQMD and is angry about the incarnation of HB235 leaving gender identity and expression out of public accommodations. EQMD will continue to be taking hits in the public activists realm until it does something to acknowledge and correct the fact that trans people were left out. I understand you didnt have the votes, I am in contact with one of your Delegates and this was explained to me. But with "not enough votes" comes the finger pointing that not enough was done.
My suggestion, and this is only a suggestion as I think most definitely EQMD should be reaching out to more TG/TS people and activists about this, but I think that if you were to amend the current bill to REMOVE L and G from public accommodations also and then at a later time, fight UNIFIED for the inclusion of L, G and T together into public accommodations, many wounds might heal. You have a hard road ahead fighting for just T's in a future amendment. If you remove L an G now it would seem that the battle might be just a little bit easier in the future, plus you may just win some of the trust of the TG/TS community back.
Tom, I think EQMD's going to have to get back to you on that one...