Congratulations to the people of Montgomery County.
Montgomery County, in the state of Maryland, has just become the first city or county to pass an LGBTQ Bill of Rights. According to Montgomery Community Media, Montgomery County councilmembers unanimously voted in favor of bill 28-20, an LGBTQ Bill of Rights that will strengthen the anti-discrimination laws for LGBTQ citizens within the county. One focused interest with the LGBTQ Bill of Rights is supporting LGBTQ people in accessing healthcare facilities like nursing and group homes. The law also states that its discriminatory to “willfully and repeatedly” use someone’s incorrect name or pronoun after being told the correct term.
“There are a lot of civil rights and liberties that are up for grabs right now as we debate the future of the supreme court,” said Councilmember Evan Glass, the bill’s lead sponsor. “So anything we can do here in Montgomery County and the state of Maryland to ensure the safety and respect of every resident, we’re going to do that.”
The Council unanimously enacted the LGBTQ Bill of Rights, led by @EvanMGlass, which will strengthen #MoCo’s legal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & queer residents by expanding the County’s anti-discrimination code to include gender expression & HIV status. pic.twitter.com/euLJmPJU92
— Montgomery Council (@MoCoCouncilMD) October 6, 2020
According to Maryland’s Local DVM, the bill doesn’t actually change any rights for anyone within the county. What it does, however, is ensure the protections of LGBTQ people are clearly stated within the law.
“The protections exist. It’s just a question of making sure that there aren’t loopholes for organizations to get through,” said John Grimes of the Montgomery County Pride Center. “That there aren’t ways that people can game the system in order to discriminate against people.”
Within 90 days, the Bill of LGBTQ Rights will go into effect before being brought to the Maryland General Assembly in January. Then, the legislation has a chance of becoming state law.