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FreeState Justice is a legal advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ("LGBTQ") Marylanders. Despite recent, incremental judicial victories for the national LGBTQ community, th... Read more
FreeState Justice is a legal advocacy organization that seeks to improve the lives of low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ("LGBTQ") Marylanders. Despite recent, incremental judicial victories for the national LGBTQ community, the low-income LGBTQ population continues to struggle with legal challenges such harassment, complex family law issues, and anti-LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, foster care, healthcare and public accommodations. In addition to needing attorneys with specific knowledge of how the law affects LGBTQ citizens, LGBTQ clients need attorneys who will treat them with respect and understanding. FreeState’s mission is to combine direct legal services with education and outreach to ensure that the low-income LGBTQ community Maryland receives fair treatment in the law and society.
FreeState Justice was formed when FreeState Legal Project and Equality Maryland merged in the spring of 2016:
Equality Maryland’s primary focus was achieving legislative victories in Annapolis, and its efforts made Maryland one of the most inclusive states in the country for LGBTQ people. Equality Maryland was responsible for the passage of numerous laws affecting the LGBTQ community including the Anti-Discrimination Act, and the Civil Marriage Protection Act, and the Fairness for All Marylanders Act, a 2014 law that prohibits gender identity discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and credit.
FreeState Legal Project was a legal services organization founded in 2007 by a group of attorneys and law students who recognized that the specific needs of the low-income LGBTQ population in Maryland were not being effectively met. FreeState Legal began accepting cases in 2008 and began building a network of pro bono attorneys who volunteer their time to assist clients, making FreeState Legal the first statewide LGBTQ-specific direct legal services organization in the country.