Md. Gender Identity Bill Dies in Senate

I guess the vocal Transgender Inc folks prefer not getting any of the pie to only getting part of it.

I’ve only weighed in on this one in passing.  I personally thought it was better strategy to take what they could get and come back in a year or two and go for more after having shown the world didn’t end when transgender folks got some of their rights.

It took gay and lesbian folks some 20-30 years to accomplish what TG Inc. thinks it should get over night.

From The Advocate:

By Julie Bolcer
April 11, 2011

Maryland senators voted on Monday to recommit the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act to committee, effectively killing any prospects for the bill to pass this session, which ends at midnight.

Shortly before 1 p.m. on the last day of session, senators voted 27 to 20 to recommit the bill to the judicial proceedings committee, which had advanced the measure by a 7 to 4 vote on Saturday. The move left no time to resurrect the bill in 2011.

The vote dealt a major setback to advocates, who just last week had rescued the bill from certain death in the rules committee, where it was unexpectedly assigned after passing the house last month by a vote of 86 to 52. The legislation would have prohibited discrimination against transgender Marylanders in housing, employment and credit, but not public accommodations, which became a rallying point for some transgender advocates who called the bill inadequate and urged lawmakers to defeat it.

Advocates for the bill entered Monday feeling confident about the vote count for the measure, known as H.B. 235. The measure had failed in previous years, but Del. Joseline Pena-Melnyk, the lead sponsor, made the controversial decision to remove public accommodations protections with the intention of securing enough support.

Del. Pena-Melnyk was on the floor and unavailable for comment Monday afternoon, but other advocates shared their disappointment.

“We believe we had the votes,” said transgender advocate Dana Beyer in a telephone interview from Annapolis.“There was pressure from up top not to allow our side to move forward.”

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