1. The Trevor Project National Survey on LGBTQIA+ Youth Mental Health 2021 surveyed nearly 35,000 LGBTQ youth ages 13-24 across the United States. Among the key findings of the survey:
- 42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth.
- 12% of white youth attempted suicide compared to 31% of Native/Indigenous youth, 21% of Black youth, 21% of multiracial youth, 18% of Latinx youth, and 12% of Asian/Pacific Islander youth.
How would you support our LGBTQIA+ youth and specifically BIPOC and transgender and nonbinary youth?
I serve on the Maryland Judiciary’s LGBTQ+ Subcommittee which is trying to make the court system more responsive to the needs of LGBTQIA+ individuals, including BIPOC, transgender and nonbinary youth. For example, I work to make the process and forms for name and gender changes more accessible for transgender individuals so they can get driver’s licenses, ID cards and other official documents changed.
2. On June 16, 2021, the Anne Arundel County Public School Board passed the Safe and Inclusive Environments for LGBTQIA+ Students, a comprehensive policy that prohibits discrimination and harassment based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.
The policy states support for the right of any student to be addressed by a name and pronoun that correspond to the student’s gender identity. Additionally, the policy supports the right of any student to use school facilities that correspond with gender identity in which the student identifies.
Please discuss the importance of the adoption of policies in schools that respect student gender identification, including consideration of reasonable and respectful accommodation in regard to facilities.
The Clerk’s Office does not have a role in setting school policy, but I personally support policies that respect gender identification for students and everyone else.
3. Some school boards around the country are facing calls from conservative groups to ban LGBTQIA+-representative books and Pride flags. What is your opinion of such requests and what role do you think parents and school boards play in determining curriculum, library content, and teachers’ ability to support LGBTQIA+ youth?
I believe our schools should support the needs of LGBTQIA+ youth. School should be a place where all students feel welcome and supported.
4. How have you advocated for the LGBTQIA+ community and supported inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ community in the past? Please be specific.
As the official who issues all marriage licenses in the county and performs thousands of marriage ceremonies, I absolutely support the right of same sex couples to marry. I have officiated at hundreds of marriages of same sex couples. Love is Love! I also participate in Pride Day celebrations around the county each year, and it was my honor to publicly officiate a marriage of a same sex couple during the festivities at the Annapolis Pride Day celebration last year.
5. It has been well documented that LGBTQIA+ people face health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and lack of access to quality health care. How have you advocated to reduce LGBTQIA+ health disparities? Explain if you have not and what you intend to do in the future to improve the health of LGBTQIA+ people in Annapolis and/or the State.
The Clerk’s Office does not have a role in setting health policy, but I personally support policies to improve the health of LGBTQIA+ people.
6. How do you support improving police transparency and accountability?
The Clerk’s Office does not have a role in setting policy for police transparency and accountability, but I personally support policies to do the same.