April 10, 2016 at 3:26 pm EST | by Michael K. Lavers
Jack Markell criticizes anti-LGBT laws

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

Delaware Jack Markell on April 8, 2016, released a video in which he criticized the passage of anti-LGBT laws in Mississippi and North Carolina. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell on Friday released a video in which he spoke in support of transgender rights.

Markell in the clip the National Center for Transgender Equality posted to its Facebook page specifically criticized Mississippi’s new “religious freedom” law that critics contend allows anti-LGBT discrimination. He also spoke against a new North Carolina statute that bans local municipalities from enacting anti-LGBT nondiscrimination measures and prevents trans people from using public restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

“As somebody who knows many transgender people and as a governor who understands this issue, I couldn’t stand by and see friends of mine and their community subjected to mean-spirited and hateful attacks,” said Markell. “This issue is not just about transgender people being able to access bathrooms. It’s about whether transgender people can fully and equally participate in public life.”

Delaware’s trans rights law that Markell signed took effect in 2013.

“I was proud to sign that bill into law three years ago,” said Markell in his video. “We have not had any problems. The only outcome has been that transgender people know that Delaware is a safe and welcoming place.”

State Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart last month announced that insurance companies cannot discriminate against their trans policyholders in Delaware.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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