Maryland governor Wes Moore signs order protecting trans healthcare: ‘You deserve to live safely’

Maryland governor Wes Moore wearing a red tie and dark blue suit on a dark blue background

Maryland’s Democratic governor, Wes Moore, has signed an executive order to protect trans healthcare in the state, bucking the trend in a rise of anti-LGBTQ+ laws sweeping the US.

During a Pride month reception at Government House in Annapolis, on Monday (5 June), Moore signed an executive order that protects gender-affirming healthcare in the state. 

On signing the order, he said: “In the state of Maryland, nobody should have to justify their own humanity. 

“This order is focused on ensuring Maryland is a safe place for gender affirming care, especially as other states take misguided and hateful steps to make gender affirming care cause for legal retribution. 

“In Maryland, we are going to lead on this issue.”

Lieutenant governor Aruna Miller said the signing of the order says to all LGBTQ+ Marylanders that “you deserve to be your authentic selves – during Pride month and every month. 

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“You deserve to live safely, openly and freely; and receive the gender-affirming care you need.”

‘Supreme Court is actively working to take Americans’ rights away’

On 3 May, Moore enacted a number of other bills which will protect gender-affirming healthcare and abortion rights. 

The laws include legislation that allows transgender people in the state to use Medicaid (state-funded health insurance) to cover gender-affirming care, at a time when several other states, including Florida and Alabama, have gone out of their way to limit access to such care for trans youth. 

Moore signed six bills in total, with one creating a referendum aimed at enshrining abortion rights in the state constitution for the 2024 election, and another requiring confidentiality of patients seeking an abortion in the Free State.

At the signing Moore explained: “We are living at a time when the Supreme Court is actively working to take Americans’ rights away instead of expanding them.

“We are living at a time when more than half the states in our country are moving toward banning or severely restricting abortion access.”

The Democrats’ support for the LGBTQ+ community comes as the Human Rights Campaign has declared a “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ people in the US for the first time in its history. 

Statistics released by the organisation in its LGBTQ+ Americans Under Attack report reveal that more than 76 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law in the US this year alone, more than any other year on record.

Detailed in the report is the acknowledgment of more than 525 bills being introduced in 41 states across the US, with more than 220 targeting trans people specifically.