FAQ’S ON THE FAIRNESS FOR ALL MARYLANDERS ACT OF 2014
What is the Fairness For All Marylanders Act?
What is the meaning of “gender identity” in this bill?
Why do we need this law?
- 71% of transgender Marylanders reported experiencing harassment or mistreatment on the job because of their gender identity, and 42% experienced an adverse job action, like being fired, demoted, or denied a promotion
- 17% of transgender Marylanders reported having been denied a home or apartment because of their gender identity, and 12% became homeless
- 54% of transgender Marylanders reported having been verbally harassed or mistreated in a place of public accommodation such as a hotel or restaurant
It isn't fair to discriminate against someone just because of who they are. It shouldn't matter what your gender identity is for you to have a job, rent an apartment, eat at a restaurant, shop at a store, or qualify for a loan. That’s why we need the Fairness For All Marylanders Act.
How many transgender people are there in Maryland?
Is the Fairness For All Marylanders Act a radical change to the law?
No. The public accommodations provisions in the Fairness For All Marylanders Act do not apply to “all public facilities”—they only apply to “places of public accommodation” which are narrowly defined as hotels, restaurants, entertainment and recreation establishments such as movie theaters and sports arenas, and retail stores.
What exactly is a “public accommodation”?
- a hotel, motel, or other “establishment that provides lodging to transient guests”
- a restaurant, cafeteria, bar, or other “facility principally engaged in selling food or alcoholic beverages for consumption on or off the premises”
- a movie theater, concert hall, sports arena, or other “place of exhibition or entertainment,” or
- a “retail establishment” that offers “goods, services, entertainment, recreation, or transportation”
How does the Fairness For All Marylanders Act apply to places of public accommodation?
This means that a store, restaurant, bar, or movie theater cannot discriminate against someone on the basis of their gender identity. Transgender Marylanders, like all other Marylanders, are entitled to patronize stores, restaurants, and other places of public accommodation without fear of discrimination.
Is this a “bathroom bill?” Does “public accommodation” just mean a restroom?
Where do transgender people use the restroom now, and how will that change under this law?
Does this mean that both men and women would be able to use any and every public bathroom, locker room, store dressing room, and shower in the state of Maryland?
Does this mean that men will be able to dress up as women and use the women’s room?
Under this law, will girls be exposed to male genitalia in the bathroom?
What exception was made for locker rooms and other “private facilities”?
Are schools covered by the “public accommodations” provision?
Does this mean schools will be unable to prevent men and boys from entering female locker rooms and will mean that men and boys will play on women’s and girls’ sports teams?
Will employers be able to establish dress codes?
Will this law infringe on freedom of conscience and religion?
Will this law allow lawsuits against someone who calls an individual ‘he’ instead of ‘she’?
- firing, refusing to hire, or changing a person’s conditions of employment
- denying someone housing or offering housing at a discriminatory price
- discriminating in offering a licensed service such as credit, or
- not allowing a person to use an establishment that is a place of public accommodation on equal terms with other users.