The administration just launched its harshest attack on LGBTQ Americans yet.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a sweeping memo that attempts to provide a license to discriminate based on illegal and incorrect notions of religious freedom. The administration wants to allow not-for-profit organizations, public institutions, and some private organizations to discriminate against LGBTQ people in all areas of public life, including employment, schools, housing, and even access to public hospitals. This comes just days after the administration revoked work place protections for transgender Americans and argued against employment protections for LGBTQ people in a federal court.
Let’s be clear here: these actions are threatening our wellbeing and our progress is at risk.
How does Maryland law protect me?
Maryland law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by government employees, in housing, in employment, by persons licensed by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and in the leasing of commercial property.
It is illegal for a Maryland state employee to discriminate against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Maryland state law also prohibits individuals who own or operate places of public accommodation (which include, but are not limited to, hotels, restaurants and food vendors, and public or private retail establishments offering goods, services, entertainment, recreation, or transportation) from refusing to serve guests on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Case in point – if a Maryland vendor refuses to bake you a wedding cake because you are LGBTQ, they are violating state anti-discrimination law!
Taking action to ensure lived equality for LGBTQ Marylanders
In this time of uncertainty, we at FreeState Justice want to ensure our commitment to serving all of Maryland’s LGBTQ population. At FreeState we believe that progress is inevitable and we are committed to working with our local and federal partners to ensure that LGBTQ folks are treated with the dignity and equality that we deserve.
Join us in fighting this attack on our communities. Make a donation to support our work to protect and expand LGBTQ rights in Maryland.
Make your voice heard: Tell @realDonaldTrump and @DeptofJustice: This is SHAMEFUL! Anti-#LGBT guidance is an affront to American values. Or CALL the Department of Justice at 202-514-2000 and tell them this will not stand.
If you are denied access to the proper restroom, treated differently by a Maryland state employee, or experience discrimination in housing or employment, contact FreeState Justice for legal intake.
In times like this, it’s important we make it known that we will not settle for anything less than full equality for all LGBTQ community members.