Court backs challenge to trans rights referendum

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The Maryland Court of Appeals has ruled in favour of a challenge to a referendum that attempted to block a transgender protection law.

On November 13th 2007 Montgomery County Council in Maryland USA unanimously passed an act adding gender identity to the county’s civil rights law in order to address discrimination against transgender individuals.

A group calling itself Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) sought to collect enough signatures on a referendum petition to block the law from going into effect.

Lambda Legal, together with counsel retained by Equality Maryland, opposed CRG’s referendum effort in Montgomery County.

Lambda Legal and Equality Maryland argued that the number of signatures needed to put the referendum petition on the November general election ballot was insufficient and that the Montgomery County Board of Elections over-counted purported signature entries in violation of detailed statutes that safeguard the referendum process.

“We’re pleased with this victory. The court ruled in our favour in our challenge to this improper referendum,” said Natalie Chin, Staff Attorney at Lambda Legal.

“Though the order was brief we feel confident that we’ve stopped this referendum from being on November’s ballot.”