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Baltimore County Enacts Transgender Protection Measure

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Protesters gathered at a rally outside the McDonald's in Rosedale, Md., in April to call for more protections for transgender people. Baltimore County just passed a law prohibiting transgender discrimination.
Armando Trull
Protesters gathered at a rally outside the McDonald's in Rosedale, Md., in April to call for more protections for transgender people. Baltimore County just passed a law prohibiting transgender discrimination.

The Baltimore County Council has approved a controversial law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people.

The transgender discrimination bill was sparked by an attack last year against a transgender woman who was using the women's restroom at a Baltimore McDonald's. Video of the beating at the hands of two teenagers was posted on you tube. The violence prompted a vigil by hundreds of people outside that eatery.

Phillip Gagneau was among those who decried the attack: "I'm 63 years old, I haven't protested since I was 19 years old, but I said I'm coming here for this. You know, I'm straight, but this is just ridiculous for people to treat each other this way."

The bill is similar to one already in effect in the District which expressly prohibits discrimination against transgender people in employment, housing or public accommodations.

Supporters now plan to take the measure to Annapolis in hopes it can be enacted statewide.

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