Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, said the organization was “shocked and appalled” today, April 11 — during the last day of Maryland’s legislative session — by the 27 votes in favor of the sending the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act, House Bill 235, back to committee. That move killed the bill this year, and according to Meneses-Sheets raises the question of which supporters backed out of their commitment.
Sen. Allan Kittleman (R-Carroll and Howard Counties) was the sole Republican in the Senate who had committed to voting for passage of H.B. 235, and he kept that promise — voting today against sending the bill back to committee.
Out of the 27 votes to send the bill back to the Senate’s Judicial Proceedings Committee in 2012, 16 came from Democrats in the Senate. They were: Senate President Thomas Miller (D-Calvert & Prince George’s Counties) and Sens. John C. Astle (D-Anne Arundel), Joanne Claybon Benson (D-Prince George’s), Ulysses Currie (D-Prince George’s), James E. DeGrange (D-Anne Arundel), Roy Dyson (D-Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s Counties), Edward Kasemeyer (D-Baltimore and Howard), Katherine Klausmeier (D-Baltimore County), James Mathias (D-Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester), Nathaniel McFadden (D-Baltimore City), Thomas Middleton (D-Charles), C. Anthony Muse (D-Prince George’s), Douglas Peters (D-Prince George’s), James Robey (D-Howard), Norman Stone (D-Baltimore County) and Robert Zirkin (D-Baltimore County).
According to Equality Maryland, the senators who went back on their word to support H.B. 235 were Sens. Benson, Kasemeyer, Klausmeier, McFadden, Middleton, Robey and Zirkin.