Hawaii Senate approves transgender workplace protections bill


The Hawaii state Senate on Tuesday voted to extend employment protections to transgender people.

The bill, HB 546, was previously approved in the state House, and passed in the Senate by a vote of 22-2.

The law codifies prohibitions against discrimination in employment on the basis of gender identity.

“The march towards full equality in the Aloha State continues,” Alan Spector, Equality Hawaii co-chair, said in a press release. “Providing employment protections to transgender citizens in Hawaii is a victory for civil rights and equal treatment under the law for all residents of our great state.”

The legislation now heads to Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) for his signature.

If approved, Hawaii will join 12 states and the District of Columbia to provide transgender employment, housing and public accommodation protections.

Earlier this year, Abercrombie signed a same-sex civil unions bill into law, granting same-sex and heterosexual couples the same rights, benefits and responsibilities as marriage under state law.

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