Urge Committees to Support Transgender Anti-Discrimination Legislation
Transgender people experience bias far too often in employment, housing, healthcare, and public accommodations. When discrimination prevents or hinders a person from gaining or keeping employment, many other problems develop. Rent doesn’t get paid, which leads to eviction. Data shows that 42% of transgender people in the DC Metro Area are unemployed and 19% do not have their own living space. Transgender individuals may also be denied access to social services like shelters or rape crisis centers; refused treatment, ridiculed, or denied recognition of their gender identity by health care professionals; or refused service at restaurants or stores.
Every person in our state deserves an equal opportunity to make a life for his or herself free from discrimination and violence. Discrimination against transgender Marylanders is wrong, far too prevalent, and must be stopped.
The lack of protections based on gender identity and expression has gone on long enough. Edit the below text to tell your state legislators to cosponsor this common-sense legislation.
The Washington Transgender Needs Assessment survey estimates that 42% of transgender people in the DC Metro Area are unemployed; 31% have incomes of less than $10,000/year; and 19% do not have their own living space. The most common barriers cited by those who lack housing are their economic situation (38%), housing staff insensitivity or hostility to transgender people (29%), estrangement from birth family (27%) and lack of employment (23%).
Similar bills in other states have been non-controversial. The New Jersey bill adding protections for transgender individuals was signed into law in December 2006, passed by a margin of 33-3 in the Senate and 69-5 in the Assembly. According to a Gonzales poll taken in August 2006, more than half of Maryland voters favor making it illegal in Maryland to discriminate against transgender people.
Discrimination in housing and public accommodations is a large problem for transgender people.
Many are evicted or forced to leave home.
Landlords may not want to rent to a transgender person.
Public facilities such as stores, restaurants and bars may ask transgender people to leave because of the perception that other customers may be upset.
Transsexual individuals often lose their jobs during or after their gender transitions.
Without protections from workplace discrimination many transgender Marylanders will continue to be pressured to hide their true gender identity to keep their jobs.