In Maryland Senate, votes are there to pass Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination bill

UPDATE: Via Equality Maryland, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill. On to the Senate floor:

Today, the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, by a vote of 7 – 4, sent House Bill 235, the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act – to the full Senate for consideration where a vote is expected on the bill before the end of the legislative session. House Bill 235 would add protections to existing state anti-discrimination laws in the areas of employment, housing and credit.

The legislative session ends on Monday.
The Maryland General Assembly adjourns on Monday, April 11. Time is running out to pass the Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination bill (HB 235). That legislation made it through the House on March 26th. It passed out of the Senate Rules Committee earlier this week. Now, it needs to get through the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and secure a floor vote. Based on some new intel, it sure looks like the votes are there in the Senate.

Over at The Blend, Autumn Sandeen has the whip count for the Senate on the Gender Anti-Discrimination bill:

I received a copy in my email today of the Equality Maryland (EqMD) whip count for HB 235 (the gender identity bill for employment and housing antidiscrimination protections), [Autumn included the full whip count list] According to Dana Beyer, as reported in Maryland Senate Prez Tells Advocates He Will Expedite Gender Identity Bill If It Passes Committee:

“Senator Thomas Miller (D-Calvert and Prince George’s Counties) told us that if Equality Maryland could show him the votes on the Senate floor, if we get out of this committee, he will expedite our Senate vote,” Beyer said.

The whip count EqMD had stated the bill has twenty-seven votes. And, that whip count came with a note that said this would have been for a bill that included public accommodation. Without a public accommodation in the bill, the number is probably higher.

Twenty-four votes are needed for passage, and twenty-nine votes for cloture — although Sen. Miller can apparently wrangle a cloture whenever he decides, such as how he did for the marriage equality bill which had fewer than twenty-nine votes for cloture.

The activists have done their part. Now, the Senate President, Mike Miller, needs to come through. Yes, time is running short. But, when Miller wants things to happen, things happen.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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