Taylor Legal Blog

Gender Discrimination

Posted by Katherine L. Taylor, Attorney and CPA, Chief Problem SolverMar 18, 20120 Comments

On December 5, 2011, Howard County's Council passed a bill protecting individuals from discrimination based on gender identity. Similar legislation was passed in Baltimore County, as well as Baltimore City and Montgomery County. Baltimore Outloud reported that:

"The four council members who voted for the bill were Democrats Mary Kay Sigaty, Jen Terrasa, Calvin Ball (Council Chair) and Courtney Watson. Greg Fox, a Republican from Western Howard County, voted against the measure saying that the federal and state governments should pass a single law that clarifies the definition of public accommodations. The county law, as written, is vague on the definition."

Maryland Senate Bill 212 is designed to provide a comprehensive law protecting gender identity throughout Maryland. The bill prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, housing, and employment and by specified licensed or regulated persons. The bill is not without it's opponents, and at a recent committee hearing, Metro Weekly reported that number of legislators left the room.

Earlier this month, Metro Weekly wrote about the impetus for the Maryland bill:

"Some advocates cited the case of Chrissy Lee Polis, a transgender woman who was savagely beaten after using a restroom in a Baltimore-area McDonald's in Rosedale, Md. in April 2011, as evidence of hostility facing transgender women. Polis's attack was recorded on a cell phone camera and later posted on the Internet, where she was subjected to verbal attacks from online viewers, including the employee who posted the video."