Speaking Friday at Creating Change, an annual national conference for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality, NAACP President Ben Jealous announced that the Maryland gender identity anti-discrimination bill has his organization’s backing.

The bill (SB 212) was introduced late last week and awaits action in the Senate Judicial Proceedings committee. It is comprehensive in coverage, including public accommodations. Text of the bill can be read here.

Also supporting the bill is Gov. Martin O’Malley, who stated last year that its passage is a legislative priority for him. He reiterated his support last week, saying “I support it wholeheartedly”.

Momentum has been building for passage of a statewide law. Last month gender identity and expression anti-discrimination legislation passed in Howard County, and similar legislation was introduced this month in Baltimore County. Montgomery County and Baltimore City have already passed laws banning discrimination based on gender identity and expression.