TOWSON, Md. (WMAR) - Baltimore County Council has passed their human rights bill with a vote of 5 to 2.
The legislation had a series of heated hearings over the last month, but passed through the council tonight.
The bill adds gender identity and sexual orientation to the existing human relations laws. It is designed to prevent discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, education, financing or public accommodations.
The only two council members that voted against the bill were Councilman Todd Huff and Councilman David Marks.
The bill comes about one year after the beating of Chrissy Polis, a transgender woman at a Rosedale McDonald's.
This should be a strong message to Annapolis that it is time to lead the rest of the state on this matter," said Sharon Brackett, Board Chair for Gender Rights Maryland. "Baltimore County will now join Howard, and Montgomery County and Baltimore City as the fourth jurisdiction in Maryland supporting these rights. This is a clear sign of exciting and changing times in Maryland for advocates of civil rights," added Brackett.
Supporters of the bill are looking forward to next Tuesday when the bill goes to the Senate.