Del. Senate panel eyes gender identity bill

Bill outlawing discrimination against transgender people gets hearing in Del. legislature

Associated Press

DOVER, Del. (AP) -- A bill outlawing discrimination in Delaware based on gender identity is getting its first hearing in the General Assembly.

The legislation to be considered by a Senate committee Wednesday defines gender identity as "a gender-related identity, appearance, expression or behavior of a person, regardless of the person's assigned sex at birth."

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

Among other things, the bill requires educational institutions to provide "reasonable accommodations" to permit access by transgender people to such facilities as single-sex student dormitories.

Opponents fear among other things that it could lead to men proclaiming to identify as females having unfettered access to girls' restrooms and locker rooms.

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