Equality Maryland, the state's biggest advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people, will merge with another organization, the group announced Wednesday.
The group will merge with FreeState Legal Project, an organization that offers legal advocacy and seeks to improve the lives of low-income LGBTQ Marylanders. The groups will go through a strategic planning process to establish a combined mission, vision, and name. No staff changes are planned as a result of the merger.
While Equality Maryland and other groups celebrated the passage of marriage equality laws and other successes in recent years, LGBTQ people in the state still face an array of needs.
"While Maryland's LGBTQ community has enjoyed many recent successes like the passage of a transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination law and achieving marriage equality, we know that the struggle for equality is far from over, particularly for LGBTQ people of color and those who are low-income" Jessica P. Weber, Board President of FreeState Legal, said in a statement. "Both FreeState Legal and Equality Maryland receive calls on a daily basis from LGBTQ Marylanders who continue to experience discrimination in housing, health care, employment, and public accommodations, discrimination or harassment in schools and foster care, or the risk of losing custody of their children."