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Young couple hugging with a rainbow scarf in Pride Month and Parade-People marching with the rainbow LGBTQ flag

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This past Saturday, Mayor Brandon Scott, along with many city officials, came together at Baltimore’s annual PRIDE parade to sign a bill that expands protections for Baltimore’s LGBTQIA+ community.

The bill, titled Unlawful Practices – Discrimination Based on Characteristics or Status, was first introduced during a City Council hearing by Councilman Kristerfer Burnett and LGBTA Affairs Director Londyn Smith de Richelieu.

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“We have taken progressive strides to eliminate barriers and promote equality for everyone,” said LGBTQ Affairs Director Londyn Smith de Richelieu. “Discrimination, in any shape or form, has no place in our society, or in our city. It undermines the principles of fairness, justice and human rights that are the foundation of a harmonious and progressive society. I appreciate Mayor Scott for recognizing the imperative need to protect and promote equality for all individuals, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, or any other characteristic or status.”

The bill protects against discrimination against an individual regardless of the individual’s HIV or AIDS status, other characteristics or status, or association with individuals with a particular characteristic or status.

The bill also prohibits the willful and repeated use of the incorrect name or pronouns of an individual after clearly being informed of an individual’s correct name and pronouns in employment, public accommodation, education, health and welfare agency, and housing settings.

“We believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every individual, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression,” Mayor Scott said. “In a time when states and communities across the country are taking the regressive steps to eliminate protections, the City of Baltimore is taking the opposite approach and expanding them. Our city is dedicated to creating a space where LGBTQIA+ individuals are embraced, respected, and afforded the same rights and opportunities that everyone deserves.”

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