John believes wholeheartedly that LGBTQ+ Marylanders of all ages deserve to live safe, prosperous, and affirming lives. He’s committed to ensuring that LGBTQ+ people, especially LGBTQ+ people of color, have the protections and support they need in Maryland.

Having worked to put in place civil rights protections for transgender students as U.S. Secretary of Education, John knows how important it is to not just have good policy, but follow it up with good implementation. Maryland has made many strides in the last few years, like banning the panic defense and making mental health care more accessible to young LGBTQ+ people. As Governor, John will work to make sure these policies are implemented well and the rights of LGBTQ+ people are protected.

Lifting up the needs of LGBTQ+ people and giving the community a seat at the table is crucial as we work to build a more just Maryland.

As Governor, John will:

  • Ensure that LGBTQ+ students in Maryland’s public schools have a safe place to learn and are protected by written anti-discrimination policies and an internal complaint process.
  • Protect the families of transgender youth within our borders and ensure that Maryland is a safe state for families escaping regressive laws elsewhere.
  • Fight for an inclusive curriculum that teaches and celebrates LGBTQ+ stories at all grade levels.
  • Protect and expand access to gender-affirming health care (especially for transgender youth), pass the Trans Health Equity Act, work to make healthcare more affordable and accessible to LGBTQ+ Marylanders, and ensure that providers are properly trained to give the level of culturally-competent care that LGBTQ+ people deserve.
  • Build on reforms to make our legal system easier to navigate and more inclusive for LGBTQ+ people, like making it easier to change your name and gender marker on marriage licenses and your child’s birth certificate.
  • Work with community members and organizations to invest in violence prevention and intervention programs focused on protecting LGBTQ+ people, especially trans women of color.
  • Pursue anti-discrimination policies specific to LGBTQ+ seniors in long-term care facilities.
  • Invest in LGBTQ-owned businesses and promote economic opportunity for all LGBTQ+ Marylanders.
  • End laws that criminalize HIV by: 1) repealing laws that make it a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison and a $2,500 fine for a person living with HIV to knowingly transfer or attempt to transfer HIV to another person, which is outdated, offensive and does not take into account modern HIV treatments that make viral loads undetectable; 2) ending the practice of prosecutors using general criminal law charges to prosecute exposure to HIV, which is typically done using Maryland’s reckless endangerment statute.