Maryland bill to stop transgender discrimination signed

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Gov. Martin O'Malley has signed a measure to stop discrimination against transgender people.

O'Malley signed the measure Thursday at his last bill signing ceremony.

The term-limited governor says the measure moves the state closer to creating that "open, respectful, inclusive world that we want for all of our children."

The law prohibits discrimination on matters relating to housing, employment, credit and use of public accommodations.

The law would take effect on Oct. 1. However, a group of opponents hopes voters will get the last say. Opponents contend the measure would allow predators into opposite sex restrooms.

Opponents will need to collect 18,579 signatures by May 31 and a total of 55,736 signatures by June 30 to get a referendum on the ballot for November's election.

Other bills signed by O'Malley on Thursday included  legislation that will require drivers caught driving drunk while a child is in the car to have their sobriety electronically verified in order to start their cars. 

Also, O'Malley signed a bill to toughen penalties for illegal dumping in Baltimore. According to city officials, Baltimore spends more than $16 million, issues hundreds of citations and prosecutes dozens of individuals for illegal dumping.    

In addition, the governor also signed casino intercept legislation, which forces parents who owe child support to turn over money won in a jackpot. O'Malley also signed nd the Baltimore County Public Schools Board of Education Reform legislation, which allows for the partial election of board members.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story

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