ANNAPOLIS – On Jan. 22 Governor Larry Hogan issued his first Executive Order, “Standards of Conduct for Executive Branch Employees and Reporting of Misconduct,” which directed employees to adhere to all applicable laws and regulations that provide equal opportunity for all Marylanders.
Equality Maryland, the state’s largest LGBT rights advocacy organization, expressed disappointment the order did not contain language about gender identity, despite the legislature’s passing of the Fairness for All Marylanders Act in 2014, which amended the state’s anti-discrimination law to include gender identity.
Hogan also withdrew proposed amendments to update the regulations that prohibit discrimination on the part of Medicaid providers to include gender identity.
“We are disappointed in the governor’s actions,” Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, said in a statement on Jan. 22. “To withdraw a regulation that prohibits discriminationwhich also has no fiscal impact seems contrary to the spirit of inclusiveness touted in his inauguration speech yesterday. We know that trans people in Maryland face discrimination when accessing health care and we should be working to ensure this doesn’t happen instead of overtly condoning it.”
The following day, Hogan re-issued the executive order to include gender identity and his office announced that they were still reviewing the proposed Medicaid amendment.
“We are very pleased that we got the attention of his office and that he made these changes relatively quickly,” Evans said.
Evans said that Equality Maryland will focus on passing several bills regarding the rights of same-sex couples and transgender individuals during the current legislative session.