Del. state Senate approves transgender protections bill


DOVER, Del. — The state Senate has approved a bill to protect transgender people in Delaware by outlawing discrimination based on gender identity.

The bill was approved on an 11-7 vote Thursday. It now goes to the House.

The legislation adds gender identity to the existing list of protected nondiscrimination categories, including race, age 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.

Supporters of the bill say transgender people currently are not protected by from discrimination based on sexual orientation because transgender people can be straight or gay.

Opponents fear the bill provides a loophole for men to lurk and expose themselves in girls’ restrooms and locker rooms, then claim that they identify as females.

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