ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)–New laws affecting some members of the LGBT community take effect next month.
Pat Warren reports on what those new protections will do.
They cover birth certificates and in vitro fertilization, and they become law without the governor’s signature.
Health insurers fertility treatment benefits can no longer discriminate against lesbian couples by requiring a husband’s donor sperm. And transgender Marylanders will be allowed to change their birth certificates to the sex they identify with without undergoing surgical procedures.
Both were legislative initiatives supported by Equality Maryland.
Warren: “Were there concerns early on about what kind of stand Governor Hogan would take on these issues?
“Well certainly. We didn’t know and of course we’ve had several years of having a governor who was very strong and outspoken in support of LGBT issues,” said Jer Welter.
Jer Welter is Deputy Director of Free State Legal, Maryland’s LGBT legal advocate.
Maryland legalized same sex marriage under Governor O’Malley.
Governor Hogan is allowing these bills passed by the general assembly to become law without his signature.
Welter says, “The position that Governor Hogan staked out in his campaign was maybe this wasn’t his issue but he respected the existing law and he didn’t want to roll that back and he wanted to be the governor for all Marylanders and we were hoping that would be the reality so we’re very glad he decided not to veto these bills and allow them to become law.”
Free State Legal calls this session a quote “phenomenal success”.
A Hogan spokesperson tells WJZ the governor is opposed to discrimination in any form.
Any bill not signed by the governor by June 3rd automatically becomes law.