Advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community say they are waging battles against a "wave" of anti-LGBT legislation in states across the country, from Maine to Texas to Nevada.
Meanwhile in Maryland, they're cheering new progress in an environment that may be more LGBT-friendly than ever.
"What we're seeing is really this divide in the country between states like ours and those north of us that are really doing well moving forward every year, and then states in the south and midwest that aren't," said Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization.
Though some high-profile battles -- such as those for same-sex marriage and transgender employment and housing discrimination protections -- were settled in Maryland in past years, this legislative session in Annapolis has been profoundly gratifying, Evans said.
So far this year, legislators have "introduced more than 85 anti-LGBT bills in 28 states," the HRC said. Of those, 34 bills in 9 states have failed, but two have passed in Arkansas and Indiana that would allow businesses and others to opt out of serving LGBT people on religious grounds.
So-called "religious refusal" laws have been proposed in other states, as have bills that would deny transgender people the sort of public accommodations protections they hold in Maryland, introduce policies clearing the way for so-called "conversion therapy," and undermine established local ordinances banning LGBT discrimination.
Evans said there are still many issues facing the LGBT community in Maryland, including conversion therapy practices and widespread anti-LGBT sentiments in more rural areas of the state, that Equality Maryland will continue to fight.
Weekend Watch Newsletter
Plan your weekend with our picks for the best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV shows and more. Delivered every Thursday.