Maryland bill could establish LGBTQ Affairs Commission

MARYLAND- Emphasizing equity for LGBTQ communities.

That’s what a bill that’s already passed the Maryland house delegates would do if it becomes law.

“it’s something that’s been needed for a long time here in Maryland and something that’s moving forward in a positive way,” Mark DeLancey, the Executive Director of SBY PFLAG said.

A delegate who voted in favor of House Bill 130 said the bill would establish a commission on LGBTQ Affairs in the Governor’s Office.

Their job would be to look at challenges facing these communities.

But also, to collect data on the implementation of LGBTQ-inclusive policies and complaints alleging discrimination.

“Over the years there has been a rise in assaults and negative experiences that that community has experienced unfortunately,” Delegate Sheree Sample-Hughes, said.

The commission would also study and establish the best practices for inclusion

A member of Salisbury PFLAG told me the existing laws do not secure the rights for LGBTQ youth attending K through 12, and this bill could help change that.

“There are hundreds of youth locally who are LGBTQ who are attending our public schools that have locally no protections 50 other than the good will of individual teachers or guidance counselors,” Michele Schlehofer, Leg. Committee Chair for SBY PFLAG, said.

I am told another positive thing that could come out of this bill is people serving on the commission will be from the LGBTQ community.

“So, that representation is very important,” Schlehofer said.

“So, we would look to their expertise and knowledge to be aware of the challenges are in their community,” Sample-Hughes said.

The bill is currently now in the Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee.

Categories: Local News, Maryland