Thursday, January 30, 2014

This And That In The News

"This And That In The News" is about articles in the news that have caught my eye and I want to share or comment about. These are the articles that caught my attention last week.

First up is a letter in The Baltimore Sun by Caroline Temmermand…
Transgender people want to be treated fairly and equally [Letter]

Hurray for speaking out on behalf of proposed law that sets the expectations that people be treated equally ("Time for 'Chrissy's Law,'" Jan. 20).

I take exception to your title for this important law, however. It is officially called "The Fairness to All Marylanders Act of 2014."

My exception isn't caused by any lack of concern for how Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman, was treated. It was appalling. In fact, so appalling that I was the primary organizer for the rally at McDonald's that was attended by hundreds and covered by national and local media. My concern is that your headline failed to recognize important issues at play.
The writer rightly points out that the law would cover everyone not just transgender people. It would cover straight, LGBT, and cisgendered people as well as trans-people. The law protects the feminine looking man or the masculine looking woman, anyone who does not look like a “typical” woman or man.

The other article that caught my attention was also from Maryland…
Maryland transgender rights bill introduced
Washington Blade
By Michael K. Lavers
January 14, 2014

State Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) on Tuesday introduced a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender Marylanders.

State Sens. Brian Frosh (D-Montgomery County), the chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee who is running for attorney general, and Robert Zirkin (D-Baltimore County) are among the 25 senators who have co-sponsored the measure. State Del. Luke Clippinger (D-Baltimore City) plans to bring forth the bill in the House of Delegates where it passed in 2011.
This is like the third or fourth time that the bill have been introduced, other times the public accommodation part of the bill was stripped from it that resulted in the bill being dropped and last year the bill died in committee. Also the previous bill ran into trouble because they were pushed aside in favor of marriage equality.

Then still sticking to the Maryland theme…
Trans candidate Beyer to challenge gay incumbent Madaleno
Washington Blade
By Michael K. Lavers
January 30, 2014

Gender Rights Maryland Executive Director Dana Beyer on Thursday announced she will challenge incumbent state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) in the 2014 Democratic primary.

“We are ready for progress,” said Beyer in a statement that announced her candidacy. “For too long, hardworking Marylanders have waited for economic fairness and equal opportunity. We have asked our elected officials to help bring better jobs to our neighborhoods, build stronger schools for our children, fix our roads and infrastructure and make quality health care an affordable reality.”

“We are ready to move forward, and that’s why I’m declaring my candidacy for the Maryland Senate,” continued Beyer.

Beyer, 61, announced her campaign slightly more than a week after Madaleno introduced a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender Marylanders.
This is very interesting since he is the legislator who introduced the above bill, it seems like biting the hand that feeds you. The article goes on to say,
Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, which endorsed Madaleno’s re-election campaign late last year, told the Blade the Montgomery County Democrat’s “strong record of accomplishments go beyond the LGBT communities.”
However, that record of accomplishments came at our expense; we got shoved aside for marriage equality and taken out of the anti-discrimination bill.

So Maryland is going to be an interesting state to watch this year; will the bill get stalled as retribution for Dr. Byer candidacy?

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