June 12, 2013 at 5:17 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Delaware House committee approves transgender rights bill

Jack Markell, Equality Delaware, Delaware, gay news, Washington Blade, gay marriage, same sex marriage, marriage equality, HB 75, marriage equality

Gov. Jack Markell supports a bill that would add gender identity to Delaware’s anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

A Delaware House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would add gender identity and expression to the state’s anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

The House Administration Committee passed Senate Bill 97 by a 4-1 vote margin. The full House is expected to vote on the proposal next week.

“Transgender Delawareans are not afforded basic legal protections from discrimination and violence that every person deserves,” Gov. Jack Markell said in an op-ed the Huffington Post published on Tuesday. “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.”

Sixteen states and D.C. have trans-inclusive anti-discrimination laws. Thirteen of those states and the nation’s capital have also added gender identity and expression to their hate crimes statutes.

Michael K. Lavers has been a staff writer for the Washington Blade since May 2012. The passage of Maryland's same-sex marriage law, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the burgeoning LGBT rights movement in Latin America and the consecration of gay New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson are among the many stories he has covered since his career began in 2002. Follow Michael

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