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FreeState Legal, Maryland’s legal advocacy organization for low-income members of the state’s LGBT community, on March 18th named Patrick Paschall as its next executive director.
Paschall, a Hyattsville city councilmember and longtime LGBT activist who most recently served as senior policy counsel at the National LGBTQ Task Force, will start his term as executive director on Mar. 30. While at the Task Force, he specialized in federal administrative policy and nondiscrimination legislation, focusing on issues such as health care, employment, housing, criminal justice and religious exemption issues. He previously worked for organizations including the National Center for Transgender Equality, Lambda Legal, the Family Equality Council, and Pride at Work.
“We are so excited for Patrick’s vision of growth and expansion of the services FreeState Legal provides to the low-income LGBTQ community across Maryland, Judge Shannon Avery, the chair of FreeState Legal’s board of directors, said in a statement. “Patrick’s depth of experience at the national, state and local level, combined with his understanding of the needs of low-income LGBTQ people and his track record of coalition-building success, make him the ideal person to lead FreeState into a future of expanded capacity and broader impact.”
“I am deeply honored and incredibly excited to be selected for such an important position at such a pivotal time in the LBTQ rights movement both nationally and in Maryland,” Paschall said. “We know all too well that low-income LGBTQ Marylanders, especially LGBTQ people of color, face significant economic and social barriers to accessing health care, housing, employment, public accommodations, and basic things like identity documents. Leading such an effective, life-saving organization into a future of greater success and deeper impact will be the opportunity of a lifetime, and I couldn’t be more grateful to the Board for trusting my leadership at such a critical time in our state.”
FreeState Legal has actively been involved in lobbying and testifying on behalf of many of Maryland’s major LGBT rights initiatives, including marriage equality and nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals. It also was among a number of organizations calling on the Maryland General Assembly to approve a bill requiring insurance companies to cover fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization for couples, including same-sex spouses, and another that will allow transgender individuals to obtain a new birth certificate reflecting their proper gender identity.
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