Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sen. Madaleno's Statement on GI Bill Demise

I am extremely disappointed by the Senate’s action today to send HB 235 back to the Judicial Proceedings Committee. The twisted and unfair process HB 235 had to go through to even make it to the Senate floor mars the Senate’s otherwise outstanding work this year. The Senate’s treatment of this legislation will be remembered for a long time by the LGBT community and Marylanders who believe in equal rights for all.

After an overwhelming vote in favor of HB 235 by the House of Delegates, this bill was inappropriately referred to the Senate Rules Committee, which delayed action for nearly a week. After successful votes in the Rules Committee and Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, the full Senate never had an opportunity to debate this issue because of today’s vote to recommit.

The Senate’s action today means that transgender individuals in Maryland will continue to be denied housing on the basis of their gender identity. Every homeless transgender person that dies on the street will do so because of the Senate’s failure to pass HB 235. Every transgender individual who cannot provide for themselves or their family because they are denied employment based on their gender identity will do so because of the Senate’s failure to pass HB 235.

I remain firmly committed to seeing this landmark civil rights legislation pass the Maryland General Assembly. Before next session, I will pre-file a new version of the Gender Identity Antidiscrimination Act that includes provisions for housing and employment, as well as public accommodations in the hope it can receive a full debate and vote in the Senate before the last day of the session.