Friday, May 31, 2013

Delaware FINALLY Introduces Anti-Trans Discrimination Bill

Delaware State FlagAfter declining to take the opportunity to do so in 2009 when they added sexual orientation to the state's anti-discrimination law, Delaware lawmakers on Wednesday finally got around to introducing legislation banning discrimination on the basis of gender identity and joining the other 16 states plus the District of Columbia that already do so.  

The proposed bill would add gender identity to the existing list of protected nondiscrimination categories, including race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, handicap, sexual orientation and national origin.

The legislation defines gender identity as “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person’s assigned sex at birth” and would prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance.

Predictably the haters in the Delaware Family Assn. are already deploying 'bathroom bill' shade at it but it has the alleged support of Gov. Jack Markell (D).

His spokesperson Cathy Rossi stated 'The governor believes that discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity is inherently wrong and supports legislation to prohibit it,”.

ENDABlog 2.0's Katrina Rose on her FB page sums up elements of the trans people's bordering on cynical attitudes toward this news. 
'And yet his (Gov. Jack Markell) belief wasn't strong enough to even suggest that trans people be included in the gay rights bill four years ago, eh?

'I presume that this current bill will receive just as much attention as GENDA has received in New York.'

I'm with Katrina Rose in asking where was Gov Markell's support for adding gender identitiy in 2009?  There is a far more urgent need for covering trans people in anti-discrimination law and it should have been handled four years ago, but better late than never.

The bill also would require educational institutions to provide “reasonable accommodations” to permit access by transgender people to such facilities as single-sex student dormitories, fraternities, sororities, and other housing and allow businesses to require workers to adhere to reasonable appearance, grooming and dress standards consistent with the employee’s gender identity.

We'll see if Delaware becomes the 17th state to outlaw anti-trans discrimination.

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