Metro Weekly

Two Maryland LGBT measures await Hogan’s signature

Governor has not yet decided whether to sign or veto infertility treatment coverage, trans birth certificate bills

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Image credit: Office of the Governor)
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (Image credit: Office of the Governor)

Two pro-LGBT measures remain in limbo after passing the Maryland General Assembly as they undergo review by Gov. Larry Hogan (R), who has not yet decided whether to sign them into law or veto them, forcing the Democratic-run legislature to attempt to overturn his veto. 

The first measure deals with insurance coverage for infertility treatments for female same-sex couples by giving them parity with heterosexual couples. The two versions of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Cheryl Kagan (D-Montgomery Co.) and Del. Terri Hill (D-Baltimore, Howard counties), do not require insurance companies to cover artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization, but do require that existing insurance policies that have already agreed to cover certain infertility treatments must extend those same benefits to married lesbians as they would for a straight married couple. 

The second measure deals with the issuance of new, unmarked versions of birth certificates for transgender and intersex individuals that reflect their correct name and gender. The two versions of that bill, sponsored by Sen. Susan Lee (D-Montgomery Co.) and Del. David Moon (D-Montgomery Co.), would make Maryland the seventh state and ninth jurisdiction overall to eliminate a surgical requirement that had previously been imposed on those seeking to have their gender changed on their birth certificate and vital records. California, New York state, Rhode Island, Vermont, Oregon, and Washington state have already eliminated the surgical requirement, instead replacing it with a sworn statement by a medical practitioner attesting to the fact that the person has undergone treatment appropriate for gender dysphoria. New York City, which issues its own birth certificates separate from the rest of New York state, passed a similar measure in December, and the District of Columbia passed its own version of the birth certificate bill, at the time heralded as “model legislation” for other states, in 2013. The New Jersey legislature also passed a bill, only to have Gov. Chris Christie (R) veto it in 2014. 

A spokeswoman for Hogan said that both bills were currently under review and undergoing an internal process of scrutiny. Hogan has not yet taken a position on either measure. On April 14, Hogan signed into law 121 of 652 total bill passed by the General Assembly. According to his administration’s website, there are two more days reserved for signing bills into law, April 28 at 9 a.m. and May 12 at 9:30 a.m. If the governor decides to veto either measure, the Democrats in the General Assembly would have to meet to override Hogan’s vetoes. Both measures received the more than the requisite number of votes needed for an override.

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