US: Republican attempt to force referendum on repeal of trans anti-discrimination law fails

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An attempt by Maryland Republicans to trigger a referendum on an existing law giving trans people legal protection has failed.

Republican delegate Neil Parrott had been attempting to collect the 55,737 signatures required by the state’s constitution to trigger a referendum on the law, signed last month.

However, as of the deadline last night it had collected just 17,500, meaning a referendum will not be triggered.

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, sponsored by Democrat Rich Madaleno, made it a crime to discriminate on the grounds of gender identity or gender expression.

According to the Washington Blade, Parrott said: “So many people did so much and we are very grateful for your enthusiastic support.

“It is difficult to come this close and then fall short, and yet we know that it was only through this effort that people became aware of the effects of this bill.”

Madaleno, who introduced the bill in January, said: “While it was gratifying to see this law pass the General Assembly and to watch the governor sign it, we all knew that it was not a done deal until we saw whether opponents could muster up signatures.

“I am grateful for the work that Equality Maryland and others did to help stop people from signing the petition. The time for attacking principles of basic fairness for Marylanders has passed.”

According to a recent poll, 71 percent of Marylanders support the transgender rights law.