Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Maryland equality organization categorized as security threat

Fellow member of the Equality Federation, Equality Maryland, was once categorized as a security threat, according to the Washington Blade.

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Maryland State Police’s Homeland Security & Intelligence Division gave Equality Maryland the designation and considered the organization a terrorist group. The designation has since been rescinded.

Dan Furmansky, a former Equality Maryland executive director and leader of the organization when the designation was made, said the situation “feels like a throwback to the days when LGBT people were truly silenced by government.”

No kidding. Geesh.

Apparently Equality Maryland was targeted because of some rallies at the State Capitol. Now all the files generated from the surveillance are going to be trashed.

It kind of makes you wonder how prevalent the practice is. TEP has done a few rallies and protests here and there. It's not really our bread and butter. But Equality Maryland also spends most of its time lobbying, organizing, and educating. This news is discouraging because when you play by the rules, you don't expect to win all the time. But you definitely don't expect to be watched like a criminal group.

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