NEWSFLASH: Delaware Protects Transgender Rights

Delaware Gov. Jack Martell signed a bill on Wednesday that includes gender identity and expression in the state’s hate crime and nondiscrimination laws. The Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Act would outlaw discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, insurance and public assistance. Said Markell,

Kindness, decency, and fairness are the values that Delawareans live by on a daily basis. … Transgender Delawareans are not afforded basic legal protections from discrimination and violence that every person deserves. Under our State’s laws, it is currently legal to fire someone, deny them housing, or throw them out of a restaurant simply because they are transgender. This is simply not the Delaware way and it is time our laws reflect our values. This is one of the many reasons why I am proud to support the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act of 2013.

The bill would not require public areas, such as locker rooms, to provide special accommodations for transgender clients, after members of the House and Senate worried that such a requirement would put an unfair burden on Delaware businesses. The measure passed the House 24-17 a week ago; an almost identical version passed the Senate earlier in June.

Delaware is now the 17th state to include gender identity and expression in its nondiscrimination laws.

Photo by Flickr user Joey Rozier under Creative Commons 2.0.