Thursday, June 2, 2011

Congratulations Nevada

CARSON CITY – Gov. Brian Sandoval has approved Senate Bills 331 and 368 to ban transgender discrimination in public accommodations and housing. Sandoval earlier signed a bill to prohibit discrimination in employment gender identity.

Legislatively, one more state gets it. They understand the need for critical human rights in regard to protecting the members of their transgender community. Too often legislators and even the state's own LGB organizations do not fully understand the immediate need for such protection.  Maryland had its difficulties last legislative session namely due to the lack of transparency and a poorly conceived strategy for success. As a result, its main equal rights organization, Equality Maryland paid a heavy price. Its reputation is severely damaged, half of its staff is no longer affiliated with the group and its Board Chair has resigned in disgrace.

Fortunately, its Transgender Working Group was survived, due to the efforts of Transgender Field Organizer Owen Smith and fellow Field Organizer Damon Hardline.  While their future is uncertain, what is certain is the group continues because it is not a program of EQMD, nor is it dependent on EQMD.  Smith's commitment to the group extends beyond his uncertain employment with the troubled LGB organization.

So if empowering yourself and others to help better the lives of transgender Marylanders is something which you feel is worthy of your time and effort, let us all come together. There is a seat for you and contrary to some part-time bloggers, we do not have to be an incorporated non profit to change the world, at least our state....

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