Alliance To Continue Moving Gender Identity Rights Forward In Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Alliance to Continue Moving Gender Identity Rights Forward in Maryland

CIVIL RIGHTS TEAM THAT HAD SUCCESS IN HOWARD AND BALTIMORE COUNTIES WILL PRESS AHEAD IN 2013 TO SECURE GENDER IDENTITY RIGHTS IN MARYLAND

Laurel, MD – November 20, 2012 – Gender Rights Maryland (GRMD), the state’s only civil rights organization exclusively representing trans persons, and the Howard County and Baltimore County Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Chapters, today announced they will continue the alliance they formed this past year in passing gender identity and expression legislation in two Maryland counties.

The alliance will mark the second year of cooperation between the organizations that resulted in the passage of comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for trans and gender non-conforming persons in Howard and Baltimore Counties in 2012.  The organizations plan to take the measures to the Maryland State Legislature and to the Prince Georges County Council for passage in 2013.

PFLAG Howard County President Matt Thorn said, “PFLAG Howard County is proud to have been an integral partner in the successful passage of comprehensive legislation in Baltimore and Howard counties. We stand unwavering with our brothers and sisters in the fight for gender identity and gender expression non-discrimination. The transgender community has stood steadfast with the gay and lesbian community in the quest for marriage equality and it is fundamental that the LGB and ally community stand by the trans community in the pursuit of comprehensive non-discrimination laws on the state level.”

“Following the tremendous success that these three organizations had working together with other friends and allies in Howard and Baltimore Counties; PFLAG Baltimore County is making a commitment to remain part of this alliance and to continue our work for trans rights and protections in the state of Maryland,” said Mark Patro, PFLAG Baltimore County Chapter President.

“We welcome all allies, including those allies who worked for these causes in previous years, to join our alliance in moving these issues forward,” said GRMD Executive Director Dr. Dana Beyer.

“This team has been instrumental in persuading legislators to take action on the issues surrounding trans rights” said Sharon Brackett, Board Chair of GRMD.  “Our alliance with PFLAG, and the results we have achieved together, has secured protections to over a million more Marylanders, including many thousands of trans and gender non-conforming persons in Maryland.  Now is time to make sure that all Marylanders have a common set of rights.”

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PFLAG Baltimore County, http://www.PFLAGBaltimore.org

Founded in 2009, Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays of Baltimore County promotes the equality and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends by providing support to cope with an adverse society, education to enlighten an ill-informed public and advocacy to end discrimination and secure equal civil rights.

PFLAG Howard County, http://www.pflagmd.org

Founded in 1994, PFLAG Howard County has a thriving program that truly makes a difference in the lives of LGBT people and their families, as well as providing a forum for educating the broader community in order to advance real and lasting change in the hearts and minds of people in our county and beyond.

Gender Rights Maryland, http://www.GenderRightsMaryland.org

The purpose of Gender Rights Maryland is to promote civil rights, education, tolerance, equality and acceptance on the basis of sex and gender identity/expression in the State of Maryland.  Gender Rights Maryland’s legislative goal for 2012-2013 is to see the passage of a comprehensive gender identity antidiscrimination law in Prince Georges County, MD and the passage of statewide legislation consistent with Federal gender identity policy and law in Maryland before the end of the