Thursday, June 20, 2013

Number Seventeen!

There are seventeen states, one territory and the District of Columbia that have protection for gender identity and expression, Delaware is number seventeen.
Delaware gender identity bill clears final vote
Opponents fear men will lurk in women's locker rooms
Written by Randall Chase AP
Jun. 19, 2013

DOVER — Transgender people in Delaware will soon join the list of protected classes under the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

The Senate voted 11-to-9 Wednesday to give final approval to a bill adding gender identity to the list of protected nondiscrimination categories, including race, age, religion and sexual orientation. The legislation also allows for enhanced penalties under Delaware’s hate crimes law for targeting someone based on his or her gender identity.

Gov. Jack Markell planned to sign the bill into law Wednesday evening.

Supporters say the law is needed because transgender people can be straight or gay and are thus not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Opponents argued the bill is unnecessary and will lead to disturbances by men lurking in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms, then claiming to be transgender.
It seems like each state has to add a little something to the language of the bill to satisfy legislators who were sitting on the fence. Connecticut added,
…which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person's core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose.
Delaware added this to appease the fence sitters,
In an effort to address such concerns, the House amended the bill this week with language stating that gender identity may be demonstrated by “consistent and uniform assertion of the gender identity or any other evidence that the gender identity is sincerely held as part of a person’s core identity,” and that gender identity cannot be asserted “for any improper purpose.”
I do not know if the bill also contains wording for gender expression protection. I think that it is vital to include gender expression because an employer could say that they have no problem with you being trans, just don’t show it at work.

The bill prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public works, contracting, and insurance. 

Meanwhile, in neighboring Maryland the bill are still hung-up in the legislature because of religious fanatics and their frenzy over bathrooms. Even through there has never been any case where a person used the anti-discrimination laws to commit a crime since the first law that was passed in 1975.

Updated: 9:36AM

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