On Thursday, HRC joined with transgender advocates and allies at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison for introduction of the Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Non-Discrimination Act. The legislation, sponsored by Representatives Mark Spreitzer and JaCosta Zammaripa and Senator Tim Carpenter, would add gender identity and expression to Wisconsin’s pre-existing nondiscrimination protections, including in employment, housing, public spaces, and education.
HRC National Press Secretary Sarah McBride, the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention, spoke alongside legislators, representatives of in-state partners like Fair Wisconsin and FORGE, and equality advocates at an introductory press conference just off of the floor of the State Assembly.
"For far too long in Wisconsin, transgender people have been denied basic and explicit protections from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public spaces," said McBride. "This bill would modernize Wisconsin's nondiscrimination laws, level the playing field for transgender people, and send a powerful message to companies, workers, and students across the country that Wisconsin is open for business. It is time to extend full equality to transgender people across Wisconsin and I thank Representative Spreitzer, Representive Zammaripa, and Senator Carpenter for their leadership on this vital issue."
In 1982, Wisconsin became the first state to pass sexual orientation nondiscrimination protections. More than three decades since that step, Wisconsin still lacks clear protections for transgender people statewide. In that time, nineteen states and more than one hundred cities across the country – including Madison and Milwaukee – have passed inclusive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
“In Wisconsin we have a rich history of leadership on issues of nondiscrimination and today we seek to continue that tradition by including critical legal protections for the transgender community in our state law,” said bill sponsor Rep. Mark Spreitzer.
For more information on transgender equality, visit hrc.org/transgender.