Yesterday, Delaware became the 17th state, along with the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico, to adhere to these principles outlined in the U.S. Constitution by passing a bill that would add gender identity and expression to the state’s anti-discrimination and the thirteenth State to add to hate crimes laws. The 24-17 vote came less than a week after Senate Bill 97 passed out of the House Administration Committee. Delaware is now the 14th state to include full gender identity protection. New York Legislature is currently considering a similar measure.
Many supports are quick to point out to States that cover sexual orientation under hate crime laws, that Transgender people are not protected from such discrimination based on sexual orientation because they can be straight or gay. The only Republican to vote for the bill, Rep. Michael Ramone of Newark said, “I believe transgender persons mostly just want to be accepted and fit in.”
States that now have laws banning discrimination based on gender identity/expression and sexual orientation; The District of Columbia, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Mexico, California, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, Iowa, Oregon, Vermont, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, Massachusetts and the Common Wealth of Puerto Rico.