US: Maryland trans anti-discrimination bill goes into effect

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The Maryland General Assembly has passed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act (FAMA), which will go into effect Wednesday.

The act, which protects trans people from discrimination in housing, employment, credit, and public accommodations, based on gender identity, faced challenges, but was signed into law by Governor Martin O’Malley this month.

Religious organisations and educational institutions, and owner-occupied rentals with five units or less have been provided with exemptions to the new law, as well as public locker rooms.

Heath Goisovich, event coordinator and advocacy committee co-chair for Gender Rights Maryland, told the Washington Blade that FAMA has been a long-time coming.

He said: “We are pleased to be able to celebrate the passage of the Fairness for all Marylanders Act. We have been working on this for a long time and are pleased to know that all transgender Marylanders will be treated equally under the law.”

Maryland will join 17 other states and Washington, DC that have included gender identity in discrimination laws.

Howard County, Montgomery County and Baltimore have passed legislation that prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, prior to the state-wide FAMA.

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission made history by filing a complaint on behalf of trans workers who had experienced workplace discrimination.