The long struggle to achieve protections in employment, housing, credit, and accommodations based on gender identity has moved one step forward. On March 4, the Maryland State Senate overwhelmingly passed the Fairness for All Marylanders Act (SB 212) by a vote of 32-15. The bill, introduced by openly gay Senator Rich Madaleno (Montgomery), had 25 co-sponsors, which almost assured its passage. Twenty-four affirmative votes were needed.
Baltimore artist Crisean is looking to make it big in a crowded field. This challenge is something he acknowledges, but Crisean is not letting that deter him. “Being from Baltimore, it’s not easy getting music out there and finding a place to start,” he admits. Crisean (pronounced Cris-SHAWN) has been attempting to increase his exposure by performing at various open mic events across the city.
The Internal Revenue Service has now announced that same-sex couples married in a jurisdiction that permits such marriages will be treated as married for federal tax purposes, even if they live in a jurisdiction that does not recognize such marriages. But what about such couples' recognition as married for purposes of state income taxes? The question is of concern not only to individuals, but to their employers which must determine proper state income tax withholding. In addition, employers which are in many instances expanding spousal coverage for same-sex partners under employee benefit plans will need to know the characterization of such coverage for purposes of state taxes. For example, an employer that provides spousal health coverage to a same-sex employee may be required to include the cost of such coverage in the employee’s state Form W-2 or equivalent, even though it would be excluded from the employee’s income for federal tax purposes.
B’more QFest held the second in a series of queer film events last Sunday at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor. The organization presented the acclaimed film Birthday Cake by Chad Darnell. The film series is intended to build enthusiasm and excitement for the Baltimore Queer Film Festival slated for three days in June at various venues.
Over 50 people attended a panel discussion on March 2 that explored the process and experience of same-sex weddings and marriages in the Jewish tradition. Titled “A Conversation About Same-Sex Marriage,” the discussion was presented by JQ Baltimore, a group that seeks to create an inclusive Jewish Baltimore where Jewish LGBTQ individuals and their families are accepted, and by Keshet Parent and Family Connection (PFC), a national grassroots organization that works for the full equality and inclusion of LGBT Jews in Jewish life.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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