News & Politics

Montgomery County Just Passed Maryland’s First LGBTQ+ Bill of Rights

It prohibits, among other things, discrimination based on gender expression and HIV status.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County became the first county in Maryland to pass an LGBTQ+ Bill of Rights. Passed unanimously by the Montgomery County Council, it adds to existing LGBTQ+ protections by prohibiting discrimination based on gender expression and HIV status.

The new code bans such things as: willfully and repeatedly using the wrong name or pronouns; discriminating based on someone’s clothing, hairstyle, behavior, or voice; and harassing or denying service to someone based on their HIV status.

Part of the bill specifically prohibits this type of discrimination in nursing homes. Citing the LGBTQ Democrats for Montgomery County, the legislation says, ““[A]ccording to the 2015 U.S. Trans Survey, 14 percent of trans people in nursing homes or other extended care facilities were denied equal treatment or service, verbally harassed, or physically attacked simply because of who they are.”

The legislation will go into effect 90 days from its signing.

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Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.