Urge Delaware to Protect Transgender Individuals From Discrimination

Delaware_State_Capitol

Target:  President Pro Temp  Patricia Blevins; Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson; House Speaker Peter Schwarzkopf; House Minority Leader Daniel Short

Goal: Fight discrimination against transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals, and provide legal recourse to those who do suffer discrimination.

A bill was recently introduced into the general assembly of Delaware state legislature which would prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance.  The bill will help combat the discrimination and marginalization of transgendered and gender-nonconforming individuals, and provide legal recourse to those who do suffer discrimination.

Delaware state law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, age, marital status, creed, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation and national origin.  This bill would provide the same protection for transgendered and gender-nonconforming Delawareans.  Transgendered individuals suffer greatly in this country.  Many transgendered youths face homelessness and poverty when they are rejected by their families or flee abusive homes. The fear of losing employment forces many to choose between living authentically and having a job, and the difficulty of finding legitimate employment leads many to risky and illegal professions which only further expose them to violence and social ostracism.  Aside from Title VII’s protections for employees, there is no federal law providing protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and only sixteen of our fifty states provide protections at the state level.  This statute is crucial to ensuring that all Americans can live their lives with dignity and safe from fear.

Delaware’s Governor Jack Markell has already expressed support for the bill, but before the governor can sign it into the law, it must be approved by both houses of the state legislature.  Please voice your support for this bill and help protect transgender Delawareans from discrimination.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Leaders of the Delaware Legislature,

Recently, your colleagues introduced a bill that would provide protections for your state’s citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance.  The bill before you would do great good for the people of your state, as it would protect a maligned and vulnerable minority from prejudice, and help all your state’s citizens to achieve their full potential unhindered by bigotry.  I strongly urge that you pass this statute.

Transgendered Americans face numerous challenges in their lives.  Much of their suffering is the result of the ignorance and hatred of others.  Many transgendered youths face homelessness and poverty when they are rejected by their families or else flee abusive homes. The fear of losing employment forces many to choose between living authentically and having a job, and the difficulty of finding legitimate employment leads many transgendered person to take up risky and illegal professions which only further expose them to violence and social ostracism.  Aside from Title VII’s protections for employees, there is no federal law providing protection from discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and only sixteen of our fifty states provide protections at the state level.

This statute is crucial to ensuring that all Americans can live their lives with dignity and safe from fear.  During your state’s recent debate on marriage equality, many of your colleagues, both those for and against same-sex marriage, expressed opposition to discrimination, and Governor Markell has recently expressed his belief that discrimination on the basis of gender or gender identity is “inherently wrong”.  It is time to demonstrate that conviction, and protect all transgendered and gender-nonconforming Delawareans by passing this bill.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

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