Press

Baltimore Passes Transgender Non-Discrimination Measure

Date: 
November 25, 2002

Becomes 14th Jurisdiction To Pass Transgender Civil Rights Law This Year

Baltimore, Maryland - The Baltimore City Council today voted 18-0 to pass a measure amending the city's anti-discrimination laws to add explicit coverage for gender identity and expression. Upon Mayor Martin O'Malley's signature, Baltimore will become the 53rd jurisdiction in the country to implement a transgender non-discrimination law.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) Executive Director Lorri L. Jean commended the City Council for its action and said, "We look forward to a time when these anti-discrimination laws will be unnecessary, but we take heart in knowing that so many of our nation's major cities have passed transgender anti-discrimination laws this year — New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Dallas. NGLTF calls on all fair-minded jurisdictions across the country to follow the lead of these cities and stand up for fair and equal treatment of all people."

A Board committee of Free State Justice, Marylanders Advocating Towards Transgender Equal Rights (MATTER), led the effort to pass the bill. NGLTF played a vital role in the effort, acting as the "legislative lawyer" to the MATTER subcommittee, developing the language for use in the legislation and helping local activists educate legislators. Jean-Michel Brevelle, Interim Director of Free State Justice, praised NGLTF's involvement in Baltimore, "We are so appreciative of the technical assistance and support that the NGLTF Transgender Civil Rights Project provided us throughout the whole process."

Lisa Mottet, Legislative Lawyer for the NGLTF Transgender Civil Rights Project, said, "The overwhelming support in this country for anti-discrimination protections for transgender people was demonstrated again with Baltimore's unanimous vote. Nearly all of the 14 laws passing this year have been lopsided votes in our favor."

Once Mayor O'Malley signs the measure, Baltimore will become the fourteenth jurisdiction in 2002 to pass a law to add explicit protections for transgender people to a local anti-discrimination law, either simultaneously with the addition of sexual orientation or standing alone.

The NGLTF Transgender Civil Rights Project provides legislative and strategy assistance, including evaluation of legislative language, to activists and organizations working to pass trans-inclusive anti-discrimination ordinances or add transgender people to existing laws.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.