Monday, June 10, 2013

Trans Rights Bill Passes Delaware Senate

Well, that was quick.   Senate Bill 97, the trans rights bill introduced late last month by Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington) that would add gender identity and expression to the state’s anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws was passed on an 11-7 Delaware Senate vote on June 6.

Senate Bill 97 would specifically ban anti-transgender discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and works contracting and insurance.  It has the support of Atty Gen. Beau Biden (D) .and Governor Jack Markell (D).

It also has determined opposition from the Delaware Family Policy Transphobic Bigotry Council.

According to the Washington Blade, of the eleven senators voting YES on SB 97, one Republican, state Sen. Catherine Cloutier (R-Heatherbrooke,) joined the ten Democrats voting in favor of the bill's passage. 

Of the seven senate NO votes, two Democrats, state Sens. Bruce Ennis (D-Smyrna,) and Robert Venables, Sr., (D-Laurel) joined the Republicans voting to continue oppressing trans people in the state.

State Sens. Brian Bushweller (D-Dover) and Senate Minority Whip Gregory Lavelle (R-Sharpley) abstained, while Sen. Brian Pettyjohn (R-Georgetown) was absent.

Keep that in mind Delaware transpeeps when November 2014 rolls around.

“This bill lets people know that Delaware will welcome you and that, in keeping with our highest ideals as Americans, we will not tolerate discrimination or violence against a person based on their race, color, religion, sexual orientation or now based on their perceived gender,” Sen. Henry said after the vote.

SB 97 now moves on to the Delaware House Administration Committee which is scheduled to hold a June 12 hearing on the bill.   Advocates arre confident it has the votes in the Delaware house to pass and get Gov Markell's signature.

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