HRC Hails Action to Provide Workplace Fairness for Transgender Vermonters
MONTPELIER, VT. - Today, members of the Vermont House of Representatives
voted 118 to 28 to approve a bill extending existing anti-discrimination
laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in
employment, public accommodations, housing, insurance and credit services.
"Republican and Democratic legislators in Vermont have taken an important
action to advance the cause of equality for all Vermonters. Once this bill
becomes law, transgender Vermonters will be more secure in the knowledge
that they are equally protected from discrimination under state law," said
Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.
The bill had significant bipartisan support, with 22 Republicans voting in
favor of the legislation. The Senate previously voted 27 to 1 to approve an
earlier version of the bill. Since there are differences between the House
and Senate versions of the proposed legislation, the bill will now go to
conference committee before being sent to Gov. Jim Douglas.
If the bill becomes law, Vermont would become the 11th U.S. state to ban
workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Currently,
workplace protection laws exist in California, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota,
New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Washington state.
Vermont is the third state, along with Oregon and Iowa, to pass such
legislation this year. In 1991, Vermont amended its anti-discrimination laws
to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"We applaud the impressive majority of legislators who voted for fairness
and equality, including Republican Senator Diane Snelling and Democratic
Representative Bill Lippert, who sponsored the legislation, as well as all
the HRC members in Vermont who worked hard to pass this important
legislation," added Solmonese.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization
working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By
inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination
against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental
fairness and equality for all.
VERMONT STATE HOUSE PASSES NON-DISCRIMINATION BILL