— During last evening’s LGBTQIA+ reception at Government House, Governor Wes Moore signed an executive order
to protect gender affirming health care in Maryland, building on the administration's dedication to safeguard the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals. The order will protect those seeking, receiving, or providing gender affirming care in Maryland from attempts at legal punishment by other states.
“In the State of Maryland, nobody should have to justify their own humanity,” said Gov. Moore.
“This order is focused on ensuring Maryland is a safe place for gender affirming care, especially as other states take misguided and hateful steps to make gender affirming care cause for legal retribution. In Maryland, we are going to lead on this issue.”
“In signing this executive order, this administration is saying to all LGBTQIA+ Marylanders: You deserve to be your authentic selves — during Pride month and every month,” said Lt. Gov. Miller.
“You deserve to live safely, openly, and freely; and receive the gender affirming care you need.”
“We are so thrilled that this year, the Moore-Miller Administration is hosting the first Government House Pride reception in the history of the State of Maryland,” said First Lady Dawn Moore.
“We are building a community where we elevate, celebrate, and activate. I want you to know that in this house, you aren’t just welcome, you are necessary.”
There are more than 94,000 transgender or nonbinary residents in Maryland. The order grants LGBTQIA+ individuals access to safe and medically necessary care. The order also commits to protecting access to gender-affirming care by ensuring that no one who lawfully provides, assists, seeks, or obtains such treatment should be subject to legal liability or professional sanction.
Maryland has long led in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community:
- In 2012, the State of Maryland became the first state in the nation to establish by vote of the state legislature that same sex couples are entitled to the same legal and civil benefits of marriage as heterosexual couples.
- In 2014, the State of Maryland prohibited discrimination based on gender identity and expression with regard to public accommodations, housing, and employment in the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014.
- In 2018, the State of Maryland prohibited mental health or childcare practitioners from engaging in the harmful practice of conversion therapy with individuals who are minors, and barred the use of state funds for conducting or providing health coverage for conversion therapy, or providing a grant to any organization that conducts or provides insurance for conversation therapy.
- In 2021, the State of Maryland established the LGBTQ Affairs Commission in the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Renamed the LGBTQIA+ Affairs Commission in 2023 to reflect Marylanders who identify as intersex, asexual, agender, and additional identities, the commission is charged with assessing the challenges that the LGBTQIA+ community faces, collecting data across state agencies on the implementation of LGBTQIA+-inclusive policies, and assessing complaints alleging discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
- In 2022, the State of Maryland restored LGBTQIA+ veterans with a less-than-honorable discharge to a status of “honorably discharged” for the purpose of state benefits, rights, and privileges if they were solely discharged due to their sexual orientation or gender identity or based on a statement or consensual act of the individual being discharged related to the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
- This year, the Maryland Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus was established within the Maryland General Assembly.
- On March 31, Governor Moore proudly proclaimed March 31 as International Transgender Day of Visibility in Maryland, being the first governor in Maryland history to formally commemorate the day. The proclamation celebrates the accomplishments of transgender Marylanders while continuing to raise awareness to achieve trans justice.
- On May 3, Governor Moore signed Senate Bill 460 and House Bill 283, The Trans Health Equity Act, which expands coverage for gender-affirming treatments for transgender Marylanders.