Post submitted by Karl Bach, Former HRC Senior Regional Field Organizer
In Delaware’s House Administration Committee legislators heard testimony from transgender Delawareans, parents, small business owners and women’s rights groups. Legislators heard that it’s time for Delaware to join 16 other states, and companies like DuPont, in prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity.
Some of the most stirring testimony came from Sally and David McBride, who spoke about their transgender daughter Sarah:
“Since those first days after our daughter Sarah came out, we have been overwhelmed by the support our family and Sarah have received from our friends and community. It has given us the faith that people are genuinely caring and fair. It has caused me to realize how much better this world could be if we cared for other children like we care for our own. For me, this bill is a step in that direction. It will help others with children like Sarah by removing the fear of prejudice and discrimination.
A community that judges our children on the merits of their character, not the identity of their gender, will benefit by encouraging those children to stay and use their talents in their communities. This is the ultimate of an opportunity society; where each can contribute to the best of their ability. All any of us want for our children is that they are happy, healthy, safe, and fulfilled. The passage of this bill will help Sarah and all the other transgender people in Delaware have a brighter future.” To learn more about the McBrides click here.
After witnesses from both sides testified, a majority of the committee members decided to stand up for fairness and voted to send the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act – SB 97 to the House floor. If the full House approves SB 97 Governor Jack Markell is ready to sign it into law.
Since the Senate passed the bill last week by a vote of 11-7. Staff from Equality Delaware and HRC have been mobilizing fairminded Delawareans. Nearly 200 local businesses have signed on to a letter support the Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act, hundreds of Delawareans have signed postcards in support of the bill and thousands have called their House Representative.
HRC has had staff working in Delaware since January with Equality Delaware on the marriage equality bill and now on the gender identity nondiscrimination bill. To learn what you can do to help the effort in Delaware please contact Karl Bach at Karl.Bach@hrc.org.