At a gathering that evoked the long road to marriage equality and the continued fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community, Gov. Wes Moore said he intends to sign a bill that would require Maryland Medicaid to cover gender-affirming procedures for transgender patients.
“We should not be asking any Marylander to validate their humanity. We should not be asking any Marylander to try to justify their humanness,” Moore told state lawmakers in a newly formed LGBTQ+ Caucus during a cocktail hour Thursday at the governor’s residence.
The Democrat pledged support for the Trans Health Equity Act (House Bill 283 and Senate Bill 460), which dominated House and Senate floor debates in the last week and ultimately passed both chambers.
He also said he would sign two other bills that could make it to his desk before the annual 90-day legislative session ends April 10.
One (House Bill 141 and Senate Bill 251) would repeal a law that allows for a misdemeanor charge if someone knowingly transfers or attempts to transfer HIV to someone else. The other, House Bill 287, would expand and make changes to an existing Commission on LGBTQ Affairs, including changing the name to the Commission on LGBTQIA+ Affairs.
“As states have restricted and harmed queer people, Maryland is blazing a different path,” said Del. Kris Fair, a Frederick County Democrat who leads the eight-member caucus, at Government House.
Moore also referred to recent efforts in conservative states that target the LGBTQ community, including Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signing of a law that prohibits transgender people from using school bathrooms that don’t match their gender identity at birth, and Florida lawmakers attempting to expand a “don’t say gay” law that restricts discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
He also referenced his opponent in last year’s gubernatorial election, Republican Dan Cox, who often targeted issues related to transgender rights during the campaign.
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