Advocates Applaud Intro of Critical Gender Identity Protections in Baltimore County

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Advocates Applaud Intro of Critical Gender Identity Protections in Baltimore County




Towson, MD – January 19, 2011 – This week Baltimore County Councilmembers Tom Quirk (District 1), Vicki Almond (District 2), Kenneth N. Oliver (District 4), and Cathy Bevins (District 6) introduced county legislation that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in the areas of housing, employment, education, public accommodations, or financing.  This bill was immediately applauded by the local chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays (PFLAG) and Gender Rights Maryland (GRMD), an organization dedicated to enacting similar statewide protections. 

“The passage of this bill, from PFLAG’s perspective, will work to create a society that is healthy and respective of diversity. PFLAG envisions a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse gender expressions, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively,” said Mark Patro, Chapter President of PFLAG Baltimore County.

"As parents of transgender children we want the same thing for our children as all parents want: we want them to be happy, to get a productive job, and to move out and support themselves. This bill will make that dream more possible for transgender children in Baltimore County, who are at much higher risk for suicide, unemployment and homelessness,” said Catherine Hyde, the coordinator of PFLAG Howard- County’s Transgender Parent Network. 

“All hardworking people in our state, including transgender people, should have a chance to earn a living and provide for themselves and their families. Nobody should have to live in fear that they can be legally fired for reasons that have nothing to do with their job performance.  I have seen the result of this kind of discrimination and it should not be allowed in Baltimore County,” said Sharon Brackett, Board Chair for Gender Rights Maryland. 

”In recent polling, 63% of Marylanders support adding comprehensive protections.  Gender Identity protections are on the books in 15 states, the District of Columbia, and over 140 municipalities including Baltimore City, Montgomery County, and now Howard County covering 43% of Americans. We are seeking those protections to be extended to all Marylanders.  Baltimore County following on the heels of Howard County passing the same protections offers us tremendous momentum at the state level going ahead,” added Brackett. 


PFLAG Baltimore County,

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.

Gender Rights Maryland,

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 initial legislative goal is to see the passage of a comprehensive gender identity anti‐discrimination bill by the end of the 2012 legislative session.