Police Listed Gay Rights Group Among Terrorists
Equality Maryland, the state's largest gay rights group, was among the peaceful protest groups to be classified as terrorists in a Maryland State Police database.
The group was designated a "security threat" by the Homeland Security and Intelligence Division, which also kept dossiers on dozens of activists and at least a dozen groups. Police kept files on Equality Maryland's plans to hold rallies outside the State House in Annapolis to press for legislation reversing the state's ban on same-sex marriage. They plan to purge the files. See the documents by using these links:
The files were revealed yesterday at a press conference, where a dozen Democratic lawmakers announced plans to introduce legislation to prevent future surveillance of non-violent groups.
Police would need "reasonable articulated suspicion of actual criminal activity," before they can conduct surveillance, said the legislation's sponsors. Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) also plans to call for a similar bill.
The measure also would prevent police from keeping files on citizens, unless the information is part of a legitimate criminal investigation.
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