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Equality Maryland
Equality Maryland and FreeState Legal Join Forces To Better Serve LGBTQ Marylanders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Press Contact: Patrick A. Paschall Email: Office: 410-625-5428 x11 Cell: 409-771-6763 Equality Maryland and FreeState Legal Join Forces To Better Serve LGBTQ Marylanders Baltimore, MD – January 6, 2016 – The Boards of Directors for Equality Maryland Foundation, Equality Maryland Inc., and FreeState Legal Project have announced that the organizations will

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Equality Maryland launches search for next Director as Acting Director departs

Today Equality Maryland’s Boards are announcing the search for our next Director, as Acting Director Keith Thirion departs for a position at a DC-based non-profit. Keith has worked passionately for Maryland’s LGBT communities and expanded our programming to focus on underrepresented communities and full equality for our entire community. Thank him for his work, and support our search for the next Director by donating today. Be sure to see our full statement below for details.

Equality Maryland launches search for next Director as Acting Director departs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 29, 2015

Today the Equality Maryland Boards announced the departure of Acting Director Keith Thirion, who is leaving to take a position at a DC-based non-profit, and launched a search for the organization’s next Director. Thirion joined the organization’s staff in January 2014 as the Director of Advocacy and Programs, and assumed the role of Acting Director in June 2015.

In recent months, Equality Maryland has continued its work promoting full LGBT equality. The organization expanded a training program on LGBT issues that has reached more than 1,500 people—including law enforcement officers— in interacting with transgender communities. The organization prepared for the 2016 legislative session and has spoken out on critical issues such as Attorney General Brian Frosh’s LGBT-inclusive guidance aimed at ending police profiling. Equality Maryland helped re-launch the Civil Rights Coalition of Maryland, and actively engaged in programs and coalitions promoting LGBT youth equality, racial justice, and fair economic policies.

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Equality Maryland applauds AG discriminatory profiling guidance

Equality Maryland applauds new guidance issued today by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh aimed at ending discriminatory profiling by law enforcement. The guidance clarifies that officers may not consider race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, and religion during everyday police activity. Maryland is the first state to issue such guidance, following a call from the U.S. Department of Justice for states to act after similar federal guidelines were issued in December 2014. The memo includes standards for routine police work and investigations, and calls on police departments across the state to incorporate these standards into their general orders and to ensure that violations are taken seriously.

Equality Maryland’s Acting Director Keith Thirion issued the following statement:

“This guidance is an important step in addressing the discriminatory profiling based on race and other characteristics that harms communities and erodes trust between law enforcement and the public. Communities of color, including LGBT people of color, have been disproportionately impacted by this dangerous practice. Too often transgender women, and particularly transgender women of color, are targeted and assumed to be engaged in sex work or criminal activity just for walking down the street, often called ‘walking while trans.’ We welcome the Attorney General’s guidance and unequivocal statement that discriminatory profiling is out of step with constitutional freedoms and equality. From ending discriminatory police profiling to stopping the violence that has claimed at least 18 transgender women this year, we must confront the disproportionate threat of violence and discrimination against members of our community on every front. Every Marylander should be able to live their full lives without fear of harassment or violence motivated by racism, sexism, anti-LGBT prejudices or other biases.”

More information can be found in the Office of the Attorney General’s news release. The full Guidance Document is available at

Maryland advocates hail AG opinion clarifying law on adultery and divorce in age of marriage equality

Today Equality Maryland joins advocates at FreeState Legal Project and the Maryland State Bar Association and Del. Luke Clippinger in praising an opinion issued by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh that clarifies law relating to divorce in adultery applies equally to same-sex couples. This ruling reflects the age of marriage equality, dispels outdated notions about relationships between same-sex couples, and affirms the dignity of all couples. Read on for our joint statement, or click here to view the PDF.

Maryland Legislator, Legal Advocates Hail Attorney General Opinion Clarifying Law on Adultery and Divorce in Era of Marriage Equality for Same-Sex Couples

(Baltimore, August 13, 2015) – Maryland advocates in the areas of family law and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights welcomed a formal opinion of the state’s Attorney General, Brian E. Frosh, which concludes that sexual intimacy between a married person and a person who is not their spouse qualifies as adultery, for purposes of Maryland divorce law, regardless of the gender of the parties.

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Equality Maryland’s future

Yesterday Equality Maryland’s Boards of Directors voted to continue the organization’s work with new leadership. See below for our full statement and details. We are so grateful for the donors and supporters who have stepped up, and are committed to ensuring a stable future for the organization. 

Equality Maryland has achieved huge progress for LGBT Marylanders, including securing marriage equality and an inclusive anti-discrimination law. One day, our phone may stop ringing with calls from people needing help to confront discrimination, whether in the workplace or at school or walking down the street. One day our full community may be guaranteed access to health care, including necessary transition-related care for transgender people. One day our full community may be able to live free from homophobia and transphobia compounded by racism or anti-immigrant prejudice. But that day is not today. 

To continue on the path to financial stability, we’ve set an immediate goal of raising $25,000, and a goal of $50,000 by the end of 2015 in our Save Equality Maryland campaign. We need your help to get there. Help secure our future by donating here today.

Read the full statement here.

Blog Post: Tough Decisions

We’ll be direct. Equality Maryland’s Board is meeting this weekend to make tough decisions about reducing or ceasing operations as an organization. We’ve heard resounding support for continuing our mission for full equality for LGBT Marylanders, but we need the resources to sustain our future.

During this critical time, we’re asking you to invest in our future.

Donate today at

Losing Equality Maryland means losing our advocacy and voice for the community in Annapolis and local governments. Losing Equality Maryland means losing the relationships and power to engage the public on LGBT issues that we’ve built alongside advancing legal rights.

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Important statement from Equality Maryland Board about our future

Please see below for an important message from the Equality Maryland Board about our future. While Equality Maryland has continued to make immense progress for LGBT Marylanders, financial support has significantly declined and we want to be direct with you – the community – about where we are and difficult decisions ahead. We welcome your

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Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Marriage Equality!

Equality Maryland celebrates Supreme Court decision on marriage equality, looks ahead to ensuring full equality for LGBT Marylanders Contact: Keith Thirion, (410) 685-6567, FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Today the Unites States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of marriage equality in the case Obergefell v. Hodges, named for plaintiff Jim Obergefell who married his partner on

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Two LGBT-Related Bills Become Law!

Governor Hogan has allowed two bills impacting the LGBT community to become law.  These measures were priorities for Equality Maryland and we applaud the Governor for supporting fairness and allowing them to go into effect. Senate Bill 413/House Bill 838, sponsored by Senator Cheryl Kagan and Delegate Terri Hill, will prohibit discrimination based on sexual

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Equality Maryland will do our best to keep the community abreast of protests and other actions they can get involved with in Baltimore. Read more here

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Howard-Columbia Listening Session Postponed, Rescheduled! Due to the inclement weather, tonight’s community listening session, hosted in partnership..

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“We’re doubling down on the work we need to do because we know that equality in the law doesn’t always, and certainly doesn’t automatically..

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Here is Steve Charing OUTspoken’s analysis of our recent merger announcement:

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The Washington Blade’s coverage of LGBTQ issues in the upcoming Maryland General Assembly. From the article: Paschall and other Maryland advocacy..

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FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland Executive Director Patrick Paschall speaking to WJZ-13 about Howard County’s decision to implement gender-neutral..

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