Del. House approves gender identity bill

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 7:18pm, June 18, 2013 - Updated 8:38pm, June 18, 2013
Legislative Hall/WDEL File.
The state House has approved a Senate bill outlawing discrimination against transgender people in Delaware.

The bill was approved on a 24-17 vote Tuesday and now goes back to the Senate for consideration of a House amendment stating gender identity may be demonstrated by "consistent and uniform assertion" of the identity or other evidence that it is part of a person's core identity.

The legislation adds gender identity to the list of protected nondiscrimination categories, including race, age, religion and sexual orientation. It also allows for enhanced penalties under Delaware's hate crimes law for targeting someone based on his or her gender identity.

Bill supporters say transgender people are not protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation because they can be straight or gay.

Opponents say the bill is unnecessary and will lead to disturbances by men in girls' restrooms and locker rooms.

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