Maryland Legislature Delays Transgender Rights Bill
It's been over a month since testimony was heard on Maryland's Bill 566, a proposition which would prohibit discrimination “based on gender identity with regard to public accommodations, housing, and employment" in the state. The Maryland legislature is slated to adjourn on Monday, and both the House and the Senate have failed to take action on the legislation.
They're just waiting for it to die.
This happened last year, too: The bill was proposed, testimony was heard, no vote was called. Lawmakers cite the bill's "controversy" in wanting to make sure everything is Goldlilocks on the bill before they make a decision. I think they're just a bunch of pussies. Reports WTOP:
The Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee has had several scheduled votes on the bill this year, but chairman Sen. Brian Frosh, D-Montgomery, said committee members keep requesting he delay votes.
"It's very controversial and people have lots of questions," Frosh said, explaining that committee members have worried about definitions of terms used in the bill and how it would be applied. The measure also has not been voted on in the House Health and Government Operations Committee, chaired by Baltimore City Delegate Peter Hammen.
Equality Maryland calls the legislature on its bullshit:
Activists say they are frustrated lawmakers won't take a stand on legislation that exists in 13 states and many local jurisdictions, including Baltimore and Washington, D.C.
"In our current economic state, it seems the legislature would want to do anything possible to make sure people maintain jobs and housing right now," said Kate Runyon, director of gay and transgender rights group Equality Maryland.
If the legislature ever gets its shit together and fucking votes on the bill, it will likely gain the Governor's support.
Transgender people do have Gov. Martin O'Malley on their side, however. O'Malley signed the Baltimore city anti-discrimination measure into law when he was mayor, and submitted written testimony in support of Madaleno's bill.
"We must continue to work toward a legal and social environment in which all Marylanders enjoy the same guarantees of freedom and individual rights on which our State and country were founded," O'Malley wrote.
Just vote on it already.