Thursday, February 24, 2011

Public Hearings Maryland HB 235

The Maryland House of Delegates' Health and Government Operations Committee is scheduled to hold public hearings on HB 235, the Gender Identity Anti Discrimination Bill which excludes any protection for public accommodation, sponsored by Delegate Pena-Melnyk.

Human Relations - Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - Antidiscrimination


Prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity with regard to housing and employment and by specified licensed or regulated persons; prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity with regard to commercial leasing; altering an exception for employers relating to standards concerning dress and grooming; providing specified immunity; requiring State personnel actions to be made without regard to gender identity or sexual orientation; defining the term "gender identity"; etc.

It's hearing is the same day as HB 285, no relation... also sponsored by Delegate Pena-Melnyk

Human Relations - Discrimination by a Place of Public Accommodation - Enforcement and Remedies


Expanding the remedies available for discrimination by a place of public accommodation; clarifying the remedies available for an unlawful employment practice; authorizing a complainant alleging discrimination by a place of public accommodation to bring a civil action; etc.

Quick pop quiz,

What protected class was most recently added to statewide anti-discrimination in the State of Maryland in 2001 by throwing transgender Marylanders under the bus?
HINT: begins with sexual, ends with orientation

i.e. MORE Gay rights, less trans rights....

Say it ain't so!


  1. Monica, the hearing is scheduled for March 9, 2011 at 1:00pm.

  2. Just to be clear about where HB285 came from.

    The National Federation of the Blind asked Delegate Pena-Melnyk to introduce HB 285.

    National Federation of the Blind of Maryland Contact: Sharon Maneki,
    Chairman, Legislative and Advocacy Committee, 9013 Nelson Way,
    Columbia, MD 21045,
    Phone: 410-715-9596

  3. Let's also be clear who is sponsoring that bill in the House, who is lobbying her colleagues for support of that bill, the impact that bill has on current protected classes, the serious impact that bill, HB285 has on the right of action it offers.

    Let's also be clear the impact it has, at a very crucial moment when the SAME sponsor was ,in her own words, seeking to have public accommodations included in the language of GINA, HB235. It worked against HB235. In a limited 90 day session, you cannot believe that in the fish bowl that is The House of Delegates, ALL legislation is NOT linked by association or impact, and does not affect others.

    Gay Marriage affected GINDA, implicit or not, HB235 was affected by HB285.

    If our allies are TRULY in this fight with us, then seek to amend HB235 with a provision to remove sexual orientation from public accommodations and see how long we wait. Despite the fact that the only incidents of restroom shenanigans involves pop stars and politicians with "wide stances" in the MENS room....

  4. While we're on the let's be clear bandwagon, let's be clear where HB235 came from.

    We were told it was entirely Delegate Pena-Melnyk's doing.

    So she get's credit and/or blame for the one and not the other?

    Who's on the Legislative Committee at Equality Maryland and why are we hiding the fact that organizations outside Maryland drafted HB235?

    Or are we not allowed access to that part of the "sausage factory?"

  5. Jenna, for the "let's be clear" bandwagon:

    EqMD has always preferred non-gay sponsors. Joseline was chosen in 2009, did a terrific job building a progressive coalition, putting the retailers and Chamber at ease, but getting slapped down by Brian Frosh in Senate JPR again. She took last year off (election year), and asked for it again this year. She wanted to finish the job.
    She deserves respect and support, and the blame here goes to EqMD and, more importantly, the gay caucus for not doing the intersession work to build support. An ancillary problem has been the "bathroom bill" meme for which we have as yet no effective response.
    Outside organizations always help in drafting legislation when they don't have in-house counsel. Lisa Mottet, who has drafted much of this country's GI&E legislation, originally helped draft the bill (as well as Montgomery County's in 2007), and has been a legal adviser. Then difference between HB 235 and last year's bill has been the removal of PA, not requiring a lawyer.
    I'm not on the legislative committee this year, but in the past it was composed primarily of elected officials, EqMD board members and the ED, and representatives from various gay organizations as well as government staffers and the ACLU.