Del. Lily Qi recounted their stories to the House committee.

There was the patient who was asked to leave her doctor’s office when she told her physician she was a lesbian.

There was the parent who was told to move to a different city when talking to a school principal about LGBTQ comfort and inclusivity.

Some state lawmakers are looking to make sure those stories become less common — or, at the very least, they are addressed.

So, lawmakers are putting forth a bill, HB130, that would establish a commission that aims to prioritize and address LQBTQ affairs statewide.

The bill’s sponsor, Qi, D-Montgomery, believes the bill is a necessary measure toward understanding and inclusivity.

“The committee will serve as a home and bridge between the LGBTQ communities and those who love, serve, and care about them,” Qi said at a hearing on Jan. 14.

Qi is proposing a 15-person commission, with all members appointed by the governor, and then confirmed by the Senate.

The commission is to work on a series of steps toward a more tolerant and educated state.

It shall assess challenges facing LGBTQ communities, collect data regarding existing policies and discrimination, and then work with local governments to pass laws based on areas of need.

“This is part of the state’s responsibility that civil rights protections are there for the LGBTQ community,” Samantha Jones, president of LGBTQ Democrats of Montgomery County, told Capital News Service.

The commission is also expected to publish an annual report regarding its progress, as well as denoting ways to approach discriminatory practices in the state.

“We don’t know what the issues are yet. But it will help educate people in the community,” Joe Clapsaddle, a spokesperson on LGBTQ+ issues for the Episcopal Public Policy Network, said.

According to the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 State Equality Index, Maryland is the 13th most tolerant state in the nation.

The bill aims to address that ranking, and foster equality and understanding within the state, too.

“There are political advocacy organizations, but there’s nothing like what we have for other groups that experience discrimination,” Sen. Mary Washington, D-Baltimore, said.

Qi pushed a similar piece of legislation through the House last session, but it died when the Legislature shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic

And this time, the bill looks a bit different.

Qi, in conjunction with Washington, has worked to tweak it in order to foster inclusion within the commission itself.

Among the modifications is a stipulation that at least two individuals on the commission identify as part of the transgender community.

They have also adjusted the language to coincide with other Maryland state commissions in an effort to expand its influence.

None of the members of the commission are slated to receive pay, and they are expected to appoint their own chairperson.

They will serve four-year terms, and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms without a year-long gap in between.

Still, there has been some pushback. In a hearing, legislators raised concerns about some of the technicalities of the language, especially with the scope of protections.

“This is going further. Not only saying you can’t discriminate, but you have to proactively include certain protective classes. Is that what we want to do with other protected classes with amendments?” Sen. Bryan Simonaire, R-Anne Arundel, said at a voting session.

Despite those qualms, the bill passed a Senate committee on an 8-3 vote Thursday evening and will now go to the Senate floor — where Qi is optimistic it will pass.

“This is really the time for us to act,” Qi said.

(15) comments

MD1756

How about a commission on the over taxation of people with no children? Seems to me to be discriminatory tax policy to tax people with no children more than people with children are taxed.

Awteam2021

The human family ... Or maybe a commission on taking care of the elderly in declining years with no family and in frail means. MD1756, sorry you have no offsprings did you ever consider adopting? Too late?

jth7100

Thanks for asking me CD, the answer is no.

Blueline

How about another approach, keep your private business private. Unless being a lesbian had anything to do with the medical condition, there's probably not a need to blast this news to the Dr. unless the patient was trying to create a confrontation.

newspostreader

Depending on your reason for the visit, your doctor may have questions that bring this up. You should be able to answer honestly without the fear of it changing the doctor patient relationship. Straight people will never understand what non-straight people experience in life. Just the same as a white person will never understand what a black person experiences in life. It's sad that in 2021 we even need to discuss equal protections, but here we are. Our country went backwards on equality the past few years.

Dwasserba

You should be able to state what you believe is significant to you, regardless of whether or not the other judges the information to be valuable to you or to them. For example, I don’t “blast” my having no known biological relatives, but too many forms require clarification. Having “no family history” is NOT the same as not knowing if you do or not. The remedy: volunteer you were adopted. Prepare to be told it doesn’t matter. No confrontation. Just fact. If “private business” feels like keeping secrets unnecessarily, it probably is.

C.D.Reid

Oh Christ............... Is it ever going to stop?

phydeaux994

That’s my question to you David.

bosco

Do you go into your Doctor's office and announce that you are a flaming heterosexual? I love it when some twenty-something Candy Striper asks me if I've fallen recently. The first few times I was offended and jumped off the table into a yoga tree position and asked "Does it look like I fall over?".

As a member of the heterosexual vaccinated community, I am offended.

Maybe I should declare Bosco Manor an autonomous zone.

Dwasserba

Yeaaah I get that. I’m the one who was always preaching “keep your stairs!!!” as one-level living became more and more the my-age-group go-to hot topic. I now struggle with mine, depending on time of day or whatever, in fact it is done repeatedly whether I need to go up or down or not, after 3 months totally off my feet. Falling down them was unexpected. Still is. Who, me? Now I have internal metal, a stiff foot, daily specific exercises and I still gasp a little before I grab the railing. Omg I was not immune to early morning light headedness. The Candystriper I was (2000+ hours, wish it could have been a career) would spit. But I have learned something about myself I needed to know, and so can you.

bosco

I agree on keeping the stairs as long as we can. Also practice rising from a chair with no hands. You gotta move it or lose it.

Hope your foot continues to heal. Mobility is a precious gift that is often not appreciated until you don't have it.

Daily meditation on health and healing helps me.

newspostreader

No. Not as long as there are people who don't understand the decimation and inequalities taking place.

gabrielshorn2013

Decimation?

newspostreader

Sorry for the typo. Discrimination.

bosco

Decimation could work, depending on the circumstances.[wink]

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. No vulgar, racist, sexist or sexually-oriented language.
Engage ideas. This forum is for the exchange of ideas, not personal attacks or ad hominem criticisms.
TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
Be civil. Don't threaten. Don't lie. Don't bait. Don't degrade others.
No trolling. Stay on topic.
No spamming. This is not the place to sell miracle cures.
No deceptive names. Apparently misleading usernames are not allowed.
Say it once. No repetitive posts, please.
Help us. Use the 'Report' link for abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Already a member?

Login Now
Click Here!

Currently a News-Post subscriber?

Activate your membership at no additional charge.
Click Here!

Need more information?

Learn about the benefits of membership.
Click Here!

Ready to join?

Choose the membership plan that fits your needs.
Click Here!