MARYLAND'S LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER
CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION
Press Releases
Fairness for All Marylanders Act 2014 Gets Record Number of Co-Sponsors in the House

Following Tuesday’s flood of supportive testimony in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Delegate Luke Clippinger just moments ago filed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act 2014 in the House of Delegates with a total of 61 co-sponsors. Delegate Bonnie Cullison was instrumental in working with Del. Clippinger in acquiring this record number of cosponsors.

Equality Maryland commends these 61 Delegates. “This is the most co-sponsors we have had on this bill,” commented Keith Thirion, EQMD’s Director of Advocacy and Programs. “Momentum is definitely growing and we are confident that 2014 is the year this bill finally passes.”

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 would update Maryland’s statewide anti-discrimination laws to include transgender individuals. EQMD and The Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality (MCTE) are building support to keep the momentum going. Phone banks and data entry parties are happening every week. And we are preparing for a great turnout for Lobby Day on Feb. 17th. Things move quickly during the session, make sure you are signed up for emails and are following us on Facebook and Twitter.

The 61 Delegates co-sponsoring this measure are: Anderson, Barkley, Barnes, Barve, Bobo, Bromwell, Cardin, Carr, Carter, Clagett, Clippinger, Costa, Cullison, Dumais, Fraser-Hidalgo, Frick, Frush, Gaines, Gilchrist, Gutierrez, Guzzone, Hammen, Haynes, Healey, Hixson, Hubbard, Hucker, Ivey, A. Jones, Kaiser, Kelly, Kramer, Lafferty, Lee, Love, Luedtke, Malone, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Mizeur, Morhaim, Murphy, Nathan-Pulliam, Niemann, Pena-Melnyk, Reznik, B. Robinson, S. Robinson, Rosenberg, Simmons, Stein, Summers, Swain, F. Turner, V. Turner, Valderrama, Waldstreicher, A. Washington, M. Washington, Zucker.

 

 

 

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Equality Maryland Gives Nod to Anthony Brown/Ken Ulman: Announces Its First Round of Endorsements

BALTIMORE - Today Equality Maryland announced its endorsements in 37 races, including Maryland's Gubernatorial race.  "We are proud to put our support behind the Brown/Ulman ticket for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. After meeting with the three declared Democratic candidates, we believe that Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman will be the most effective Governor and Lieutenant Governor for Equality Maryland's issues and for the citizens of Maryland," comments the group's Executive Director, Carrie Evans. 

PAC Chair, Tim Williams, notes "Equality Maryland's PAC has worked since 2006 to help elect individuals who will fight for LGBT equality.  It is remarkable that seven years later, we have come to a point where all three Democratic candidates for Governor are enthusiastically supportive of LGBT issues."

Equality Maryland also announced its endorsement of 36 General Assembly candidates. These endorsements are for some of the incumbents who voted for The Civil Marriage Protections Act. All support Equality Maryland's top legislative priority - The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which expands current law to include anti-discrimination provisions for transgender Marylanders. All are Democrats.*

There will be at least one more round of endorsements from the Equality Maryland PAC in the coming months.

Equality Maryland Endorsed Candidates for State Senate Districts** 

Delegate Susan Lee, D16

Delegate Veronica Turner, D26

Senator Brian Feldman, D15

Senator Delores Kelley, D10

Senator Katherine Klausmeier, D8

Senator Richard Madaleno, D18

Senator Roger Manno, D19

Senator Nathaniel McFadden, D45

Senator Karen Montgomery, D14

Senator Jamie Raskin, D20

Senator James Rosapepe, D21

Senator Bobby Zirkin, D11

 

Equality Maryland Endorsed Candidates for House of Delegate Districts 

Delegate Charles Barkley, D39

Delegate Kumar Barve, D17

Delegate Michael E. Busch, D30

Delegate Luke Clippinger, D46

Delegate Kathleen Dumais, D15

Delegate Tawanna Gaines, D22

Delegate Adrienne Jones, D10

Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, D18

Delegate Peter Hammen, D46

Delegate Anne Healey, D22

Delegate James Hubbard, D23

Delegate Benjamin Kramer, D19

Delegate Stephen Lafferty, D42

Delegate Eric Luedtke, D14 

Delegate Aruna Miller, D15

Delegate Peter Murphy, D28

Delegate Dana Stein, D11

Delegate Kirill Reznik, D39

Delegate Barbara Robinson, D40

Delegate Shane Robinson, D39

Delegate Samuel “Sandy” Rosenberg, D41

Delegate Kris Valderrama, D26

Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher, D18

Delegate Craig Zucker, D14

* Three Republicans voted for The Civil Marriage Protection Act; none are seeking re-election to the General Assembly. 

** Copies of completed questionnaires can be requested by emailing PAC@EqualityMaryland.org (please specify the questionnaire you are requesting)

 

Process for Gubernatorial Endorsement

Questionnaires were sent to candidates who filed their candidacy with the State Board of Elections or otherwise declared their intentions. This included both Democrats and Republicans. Questionnaires were completed by, and interviews were conducted with, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Attorney General Doug Gansler and Delegate Heather Mizeur. Interviews were conducted by Equality Maryland, Inc. staff and Board along with Equality Maryland members.

 

Equality Maryland's Political Action Committee was established in 2006 to help elect individuals who are committed to working for fairness and equality for LGBT individuals, our families and our communities. The PAC also works to support fair-minded incumbents.

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Groups to Picket Outiside of Molotov Concert

Media Release: August 23, 2013
Contacts:
Carrie Evans, Equality Maryland Executive Director, 443-514-4999 (prin

Evan Glass, Equality Maryland Board of Directors, 301-980-2968 (at event, August 26)

Tony Varona,  Professor of Law/Academic Dean, American University Washington College of Law  (for legal perspective) 202-445-4131


Groups to Picket Outiside of Molotov Concert

Equality Maryland, Casa Ruby, the Latino GLBT History Project and others from around the area will be gathering on Monday to educate fans going to the Molotov concert at the Filmore in Silver Spring.

Molotov is a Latin Grammy Award winning Mexican rock band. They are on a U.S. tour right now. One of their songs, “Puto” contains the phrase “matarile al maricon,” which translates to “kill the faggot.” This phrase was recently used by a group of people who attacked Esteban Navarro in Chile and is too frequently used all around Spanish speaking communities.
 
We appreciate that Molotov released a statement saying, “no one should be a target of violence because they are LGBT.”  They also said they would refrain from using this hurtful phrase during their US tour. However, they should stop using this word in any country and should encourage their fans to not use it.
We will talk to fans as they enter the concert and share why words matter and encourage them to sign a petition urging Molotov to stop using this phrase at all their concerts and to encourage their fans from using it as well.  

People will be meeting in front of the Filmore, 8656 Colesville Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20910 at 6:30 on Monday, August 26, 2013.

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Equality Maryland lobbies in Annapolis and across the state to create equal protection under the law for LGBT Marylanders and their families; to eliminate prejudice and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity through outreach, education, research, community organizing, training and coalition building; and to utilize our Political Action Committee (PAC) to elect fair minded candidates.

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EQMD Joins Other States on Amicus Brief

Today Equality Maryland joined our sister organizations in New York, California, Washington, Iowa, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine and filed an amicus curiae brief in the US v. Windsor case. This case challenges Section 3 of the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" and will be heard by the Supreme Court on March 27, 2013.

"There are thousands of married same-sex couples in Maryland who are significantly injured by DOMA. This unfair federal law disqualifies these Maryland couples from a wide-range of federal rights and benefits that opposite-same sex couples are afforded, comments Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. She continues, "This brief shares some of the real-life stories of married gay and lesbian people harmed by DOMA. When loving same-sex couples take on the responsibility and commitment of marriage it’s wrong for the federal government to discriminate against them."

 

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Equality Maryland Celebrates Historic Win

For Immediate Release

November 7, 2012

Contact:

Carrie Evans, Executive Director (m) 443-514-4999

 

Organization Elated That Same-Sex Couples Have the Protections of Marriage

 Baltimore – Today the majority of Maryland voters upheld The Civil Marriage Protection Act. In response to this historic moment, Equality Maryland Board President David Lublin and Executive Director Carrie Evans made the following statements:

David Lublin

“Tonight the citizens of Maryland made history by voting to uphold the Civil Marriage Protection Act. By allowing same-sex couples the freedom to marry, Maryland becomes the first state in the United States to approve marriage equality in a popular vote,” Lublin said. “Maryland once again upholds is nickname as the Free State – where citizens are free to love regardless of gender or sexual orientation.”

 

Carrie Evans

“With this vote, Marylanders rose up and declared that that every family deserves to be treated equally under the law,” Evans said. “Voters from every corner of the state, from every political persuasion, every race and every religion voted for marriage equality.”

 “This campaign started in 2004 when LGBT couples sued for the right to marry. We lost that legal battle, but eight years later we won the support of the General Assembly and of the majority of Maryland voters.”

 “This victory is a testament to the power of broad coalitions and thousands of supporters. With scores of religious and faith, civic, political, labor, business and civil rights organizations working together, we were able to appeal to the hearts and minds of Marylanders and achieve victory. A special thanks needs to be given to the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland (ACLU-MD), the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for their immense contributions to the campaign. Their support was instrumental to ensuring that we had a winning campaign. Equality Maryland applauds the thousands of supporters whose tenacity over the years and months  is a testament to the ability of like-minded people to create social change. “

 “And throughout this campaign, we have been fortunate to have Governor O’Malley as our leader, championing our cause here at home and across the country. The Governor helped lead the Civil Marriage Protection Act through the General Assembly and remained our top supporter during this referendum campaign. His passion for fairness never wavered and he worked as hard as any paid staff or volunteers on ensuring Question 6 won.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Come ROCK THE REFERENDUM with EQMD and Great Local Bands on September 28

Baltimore, Md. – Equality Maryland is pleased to partner with The Whiskey, Annapolis’ premier bar and rock club, and three terrific local bands to present ROCK THE REFERENDUM, a special concert to benefit marriage equality. Featured bands include Sweet Leda, Mama’s Black Sheep, and Frenamie.

 Sweet Leda vocalist Julie Cymek explained the band’s support for marriage equality: “Sweet Leda loves love. In fact, we feel so strongly about supporting same-sex marriage that we actually wrote a song called “Let Her Love Her,” which features Jay Crawdads of the band Higher Hands. I know there are many musicians out there who feel the same way, and I encourage them to shout it from a nearby mountaintop!” (“Let Her Love Her” can be heard at the band’s website and downloaded on iTunes.)

 For Baltimore-based duo Mama’s Black Sheep, marriage equality in Maryland holds personal significance. The duo, comprised of Ashland Miller & Laura Cerulli, had to leave their home and travel to D.C. to be legally married in 2011. “This really is a matter of treating all Maryland families fairly,” says Cerulli. “We are honored to be a part of this event, and hope that in bringing people together through music we can raise both the funds and awareness needed to ensure Marylanders cast a “FOR” vote for marriage in November.”

 “We are very excited to work with these bands to promote equality for all Marylanders,” said Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. “We know that the local music fans are overwhelmingly supportive of marriage equality, and ROCK THE REFERENDUM is a terrific way to engage them as we prepare to defend marriage equality at the ballot box.”

 ROCK THE REFERENDUM will take place on Friday, September 28 at 9:00 pm (doors open at 8:00 pm). Tickets are $25, and all proceeds will go towards defending marriage equality in the November referendum. Tickets can be purchased at eqmd.org/rock

 

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Equality Maryland: www.eqmd.org

The Whiskey: thewhiskeyannapolis.com

Sweet Leda: www.Sweetleda.com

Mama’s Black Sheep: www.mamasblacksheep.com

Frenamie: www.facebook.com/frenami

 

 

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New EQMD Board Leaders Announced

May 16, 2012

Equality Maryland is proud to announce the selection of new leadership for both its foundation and advocacy boards, providing continued energy and enthusiasm for the movement to provide equal rights to all individuals and families in Maryland.

David Lublin is the new President of Equality Maryland Board of Directors. Stephanie Bernstein is the new President of the Equality Maryland Foundation Board of Directors.

Lublin and Bernstein will lead an organization that presided over the historic passage of the Civil Marriage Protection Act and will work to ensure that the law is enacted on January 1, 2013.

"I'm honored and excited to become President of Equality Maryland at such an important time for LGBT rights. ” Lublin said. “The work underway by Equality Maryland and our Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition partners is so vitally important to thousands of Marylanders and their families. Maryland needs to uphold marriage equality and pass the gender identity non-discrimination bill to make sure that all families our state are protected and live in dignity."

“I am thrilled to be working with my fellow board members as the new President of the Equality Maryland Foundation,” Bernstein said.  “We have a historic opportunity this year to sustain the Civil Marriage Protection Act passed by the Maryland General Assembly and to make sure that the gender identity non-discrimination bill passes in the 2013 session of the General Assembly.  Every citizen of the State of Maryland deserves the same rights and protections under the law.”

For more information and bios of EQMD Board members, click here.

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EQUALITY MARYLAND APPLAUDS EEOC RULING: ENCOURAGES MARYLAND GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO FINISH THE JOB IN 2013

BALTIMORE, April 24, 2012 — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a groundbreaking ruling on April 20, 2012 that declares Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects transgender employees. Until this ruling, federal courts had not consistently ruled that transgender employees were protected in Title VII.

"The EEOC ruling affirms the common sense notion that people should not be discriminated against in the employment context because of who they are," said Executive Director Carrie Evans. "I hope this ruling provides Maryland’s General Assembly with the confidence to pass a state law that prohibits discrimination not only in employment but housing and public accommodations during the 2013 Session.”

The National Transgender Discrimination Survey published in in 2011 found widespread discrimination experienced by Maryland’s transgender community.

  • 71% reported experiencing harassment or mistreatment on the job
  • 42% experienced an adverse job action
  • 17% were denied a home or apartment
  • 54% were verbally harassed or disrespected in places of public accommodations or provision of services, including hotels, restaurants, public transportation and government agencies.

 

 

 

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Baltimore County Adds Protections for Transgender Individuals

 

Baltimore County Adds Protections for Transgender Individuals
 
Equality Maryland applauds the Baltimore County Council for passing Bill 3-12 that adds gender identity and expression to county law prohibiting discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, financing and education.
 
“We commend Councilman Quirk for his leadership on this important measure along with his four colleagues who voted “yes” – Councilmembers Vicki Almond, Kenneth Oliver, Cathy Bevins and John Olszewski,” said Owen Smith, field organizer at Equality Maryland. He continues, “This common-sense law will allow transgender people residing and visiting Baltimore County to live their lives with more security and peace.”
 
 Smith and Equality Maryland played a critical role in helping pass this legislation. This included activating Equality Maryland members in Baltimore County to contact their Councilmembers and to testify before the Council, providing assistance to the bill sponsor and garnering support from business leaders.

 

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HB 438 PASSES WITH 72 VOTES!

Maryland House of Delegates Passes Marriage Equality Bill

February 17, 2012

 

With Major Hurdle Cleared, Marriage Equality Supporters Prepare for Vote in Senate

ANNAPOLIS – The Maryland House of Delegates voted in favor of House Bill 438, the Civil Marriage Protection Act, which allows committed gay and lesbian couples to marry in the state. The measure, which is a cornerstone of Governor Martin O’Malley’s legislative agenda this year, now moves to the Senate, where it cleared the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee late last month.

“Today’s vote is a huge step forward for all of us working to make marriage equality a reality in Maryland,” said Sultan Shakir, campaign manager for Marylanders for Marriage Equality coalition. “There’s a lot of work left to do, but momentum continues to grow – and quickly.”

Passage in the House, where a marriage equality bill stalled last year, is seen as a major milestone in this year’s push to pass marriage equality.

“We want to thank the Delegates who cast votes today in favor of equality for LGBT families in our state, and our Senate supporters who laid the path last year that made this day possible. Their unwavering commitment has helped bring us one huge step closer today to marriage equality in our great state,” explains Carrie Evans, Executive Director of Equality Maryland. “If last year taught us anything, it’s that you can’t take any vote for granted, but we’re cautiously optimistic.”

“1199 SEIU members stand with our Delegates who voted for marriage equality. Their vote makes Maryland and all its working families stronger,” said Ezekiel Jackson of 1199 SEIU.

“History was made today,” said Melissa Goemann, legislative director of ACLU of Maryland. “Delegates protected religious liberty while allowing for equal protection under the law for same-sex couples and their families.”

“Committed gay and lesbian couples and their children are on the road to being protected equally under the law due to the efforts of the House today,” said Kate Planco-Waybright, interim executive director of Progressive Maryland.

Marylanders for Marriage Equality is the coalition—including 1199 SEIU, Equality Maryland, Progressive Maryland, Human Rights Campaign, ACLU of Maryland, and others—working to bring civil marriage equality to Maryland.

 

 

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