The ACLU of Maryland is dedicated to making our state a place that respects all identities, relationships and families. We fight for the right of LGBTQ+ individuals to live openly and receive fair treatment in employment, education, housing, public accommodation, health care, and government programs. The ACLU of Maryland successfully challenged sodomy laws in Maryland, and we helped pass and defend laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. We were instrumental in bringing marriage equality to Maryland, a battle fought first in the courts, then the General Assembly, and finally with a ballot referendum that ushered in equal marriage rights in 2012.
Despite these victories, discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains all too common. In recent years, the ACLU of Maryland has fought to enforce and expand the rights of transgender people to live free from discrimination and harassment, to improve the treatment of LGBTQ+ people in the criminal justice system, and to ensure that LGBTQ+ children are treated fairly and equally in schools.
Fight for Open Trans Military Service Goes On
When President Trump took to Twitter on the morning of July 26 to issue a series of lies about transgender individuals serving in the United States armed forces and announce a ban on open transgender service, he disrupted the lives and careers of thousands of transgender troops.
Our clients are people who are transgender who have been serving this country for years, some of whom want to commission as officers but would be barred from doing so by the president’s proposed ban on enlistments by transgender individuals. While the president’s ban stigmatizes and threatens transgender service members every day, these brave individuals are continuing to fight for their careers, their fellow service members, and for the Constitution.
UPDATE: President Joe Biden repealed the transgender military ban put in place by the prior administration.
“I am relieved and appreciative that, in promptly rescinding the trans military ban, President Joe Biden made it a priority to correct our course and set us back on a heading for progress,” said Brock Stone, Petty Officer First Class in the United States Navy and plaintiff.
The decision in Masterpiece Cakeshop had implications for the entire LGBT community. Our expert Chase is joined by Shelby from the Transgender Law Center to break down what trans people need to know about the Masterpiece ruling.
Every day, people question why we advocate for trans rights. “How many trans people are there, really?” we are asked. Or, “Isn’t this just a new niche issue that serves as a distraction from the issues that really matter?” But trans people have always existed, and their lives have always mattered. And though we have and continue to face rampant discrimination, so too have we built beautiful communities and movements of resistance and love.