Prejudice against transsexuals is still rampant. Unfortunately, this means that getting protections for transsexuals through the state Assemblies is difficult. The Maryland Senate Judicial Proceeding Committee failed to pass SB 449, The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2013 in a vote of five to six. Senators Rasking, Forehand, Frosh, Gladden and Zirkin voted for it and Senators Stones, Muse, Jacobs, Brochin, Shank and Getty voted against it.
It is terribly disappointing that this committee failed to stand up for fairness and protect transgender Marylanders. In the past month more than 300 people visited their legislators in support of this bill. Additionally, more than 400 constituents called their senators on this committee and almost 2,000 constituent letters, petitions and postcards in support of SB 449 were given to the 11 members of the committee.
We are particularly incensed with Senator Jim Brochin’s vote. He had at least 1,000 constituents contact him asking him to support this bill. Despite this, he turned his back on these voters. It ironic that transgender people in his own district [Baltimore County] have protections yet he wouldn’t cast a vote to extend these protections to individuals in the 20 counties that aren’t so fortunate.”
The entire Board and staff at Equality Maryland vow to continue the fight. We will not give up until transgender Marylanders are afforded the right to be free from discrimination in their jobs, homes, and places of public accommodations.
Homophobia and transphobia are manifestations of misogyny. The belief is that men are born men and women are born women and that nothing changes that. This prejudice has been difficult in some places to combat given that the definitions of man and woman are far more incumbent upon the social constructs than they are on anything else.