Hyattsville Bans Discrimination Against Transgender People

By Zachary Kiesch and Mila Mimica
|  Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013  |  Updated 7:14 AM EDT
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Hyattsville this week became the second city in Maryland to pass legislation banning discrimination against transgender people. News4's Prince George's County Bureau Reporter Zachary Kiesch has the story.

Zachary Kiesch

Hyattsville this week became the second city in Maryland to pass legislation banning discrimination against transgender people. News4's Prince George's County Bureau Reporter Zachary Kiesch has the story.

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Hyattsville this week became the second city in Maryland to pass legislation banning discrimination against transgender people.

The Hyattsville City Council passed the Human Rights Act in a unanimous 9-0 vote Monday. The bill will prohibit discrimination on a variety of levels, but most notably includes protection for transgender individuals in employment, housing and public accommodations.

"Transgender is a broad term that applies to a broad array of people whose gender identity is inconsistent with their sex assigned at birth," council member Patrick Paschall, who introduced the bill, told News4.

The state as whole protects individuals based on their sexual orientation, but not on their gender identity. 

"What good is it if somebody can fire me for looking the way I do, but not for who I love?" Hyattsville resident Candance Gingrich said.

Hyattsville is the first city in Prince George's County to pass a gender-inclusive non-discrimination law. In Maryland, the City of Baltimore, Montgomery County, Baltimore County and Howard County have similar legislation protecting transgender individuals.

Sixteen states and D.C. have state-wide non-discrimination laws protecting transgender individuals -- Gingrich and Pachall hope Hyattsville's ban will soon be enough of a push for state-wide legislation in Maryland.

"I think this is a big help and it is a catalyst," Gingrich said. "The Civil Rights Act didn't end racism. I don't think the Human Rights Act is going to end homophobia or transphobia."

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