Last year, you may have read or heard FreeState share a startling statistic: that 17 states rank ahead of Maryland according to the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) most recent objective, annual analysis of state LGBTQ policy. Well, I am happy to share so good news with you. Just a few days ago, the HRC released its 2017 State Equality Index which assigns states to one of four distinct categories and provides each state with a policy-specific scorecard. We are proud that Maryland rose an entire category, in large part, due to expanded healthcare access for LGBTQ people that FreeState Justice and our coalition partners fought for. Despite this progress, thirteen states and the District of Columbia rank ahead of Maryland in the highest-rated category for equality.
The State Equality Index (SEI) assesses LGBTQ-related legislation and policies in the areas of parenting laws, relationship recognition, non-discrimination policies, hate crime laws, youth-related policies, and health and safety laws. I encourage you to take a look at Maryland’s scorecard to explore some of the glaring policy gaps that FreeState Justice and our allies hope to address in the coming years.
Not only will we be fighting for statewide laws and policies that protect our community, but we also make sure those laws are actively enforced. We hope you continue to stay tuned with FreeState as Maryland’s legislative session gears up to see how you can help us make Maryland an even better place for LGBTQ families and people.