Maryland's SB212 which adds language including Gender Identity to state laws protecting classes like race, sex, age, national origin, and others from discrimination passed a vote in Maryland's House of Delegates last Thursday and now awaits being signed by Governor Martin O'Malley in the coming weeks. The bill itself will take effect later this year in October of 2014.

From the Washington Blade:

The 82-57 vote on Senate Bill 212 – the Fairness for All Marylanders Act of 2014 – took place after lawmakers debated the measure that state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) introduced in January for more than two hours.

"What we are about to do today is important," said state Del. Maggie McIntosh (D-Baltimore City) as she referenced the exclusion of trans Marylanders in a 2001 anti-discrimination bill that only included sexual orientation. "This is an important group of people today who frankly we left out 11 years ago. They're beat up. They're ridiculed. They are suffering and they need to hold their head up high just like I do."

This is a pretty big move coming off the Civil Marriage Protection Act, a law that allowed homosexual couples marriage rights in Maryland, which survived a referendum known as Question 6 in the last major election cycle.

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The State bill is preceded by similar bills passed in Howard and Baltimore counties.

As The Blade article points out in its closing sentence, opposition groups will likely attempt to get SB212 up for referendum.

You can check out the statements made by the groups Gender Rights Maryland and Equality Maryland which were both heavily involved in the bill's passing.