In a major win for trans rights, Maryland governor Wes Moore has signed an order protecting gender-affirming care.
In recent years, Republican lawmakers have ruthlessly targeted the rights of trans individuals across the United States.
Since the start of 2023, over 300 anti-trans bills have been introduced across 43 states.
According to Track Trans Legislation, Arkansas, West Virginia, Utah and Wyoming have already passed laws banning trans people from life-saving health care, sports participation, and using bathrooms aligned with their gender identity.
While right-wing lawmakers show no signs of slowing down their hateful and bigoted anti-trans agenda, some political figures have introduced legislation that fosters a safe environment for trans people.
On 6 June, Maryland’s Democrat governor Moore announced that he signed an executive order protecting gender-affirming care.
Under the inclusive order, individuals “seeking, receiving, or providing gender-affirming care” will be protected from any “legal punishments” from states opposing trans healthcare.
“In the state of Maryland, nobody should have to justify their own humanity,” Moore said in a statement.
“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.”
Lt. Governor of Maryland Aruna Miller echoed similar sentiments, stating: “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.
No one should have to justify their own humanity.
During Pride Month and every month, we’re taking action to build a state where every person knows they are loved and are free to be their authentic selves. pic.twitter.com/Z6N1T4IdzF
— Governor Wes Moore (@GovWesMoore) June 7, 2023
“You deserve to live safely, openly, and freely; and receive the gender-affirming care you need.”
The state of Maryland is no stranger to implementing LGBTQ+ inclusive protections.
Back in May, Moore signed The Trans Health Equity Act into law, which grants trans individuals more coverage regarding gender-affirming care.
In 2022, Maryland switched the status of LGBTQ+ veterans who were discharged due to their sexual orientation or gender identity from “less-than-honourable discharge” to “honourably discharged.” The inclusive move was implemented to help secure them better state benefits, rights and privileges.
While Maryland continues to showcase their LGBTQ+ allyship, other states have made it their mission to increase the rise of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and legislation.
On 6 June, the Human Rights Campaign declared its first “state of emergency” for LGBTQ+ citizens in the country.
“We have officially declared a state of emergency for LGBTQ+ people in the United States for the first time following an unprecedented and dangerous spike in anti-LGBTQ+ legislative assaults sweeping state houses this year,” they announced in a statement.
“More than 75 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been signed into law this year alone, more than doubling last year’s number, which was previously the worst year on record.”