Transgender people are made in God’s image and should not be subject to discrimination for being authentic about their gender identity and expression. More Light Presbyterians calls on the Delaware House to follow the lead of the Senate and add gender identity and expression to Delaware’s nondiscrimination law and hate crime law.

Senate Majority Whip Margaret Rose Henry (D-Wilmington) introduced the bill late last month and it passed last week in the Senate by 11 to 7. “This bill lets people know that Delaware will welcome you and that, in keeping with our highest ideals as Americans, we will not tolerate discrimination or violence against a person based on their race, color, religion, sexual orientation or now based on their perceived gender,” Henry said after the vote.

Here are two stories from Transgender Delawareans about the importance of adding these protections:

Sarah McBride

Sally and David McBride, the parents of Sarah McBride, spoke on the Senate floor in favor of Senate Bill 97. When Sarah McBride came out last year, including very publicly in the Huffington Post, she noted the blessing of her supportive family and her Presbyterian faith community.

“As difficult as this has been for my family and me, the experience highlights my own privilege. From day one, I never worried about my family loving and accepting me. But for far too many trans people, the reality is far bleaker. Coming out oftentimes means getting kicked out of your home, your community, and your family. The worries that my family now feels for the first time are all too common for most families. I grew up in an upper-income household, in an accepting environment, and with incredible educational opportunities.

Also see the article about Sarah in the Washington Blade.

Jay Cabell

This interview with Jay Cabell appeared on Delaware Online.

According to The Washington Blade, sixteen states and D.C. already have trans-inclusive laws.

Thirteen of those states and the nation’s capital have also added gender identity and expression to their hate crimes statutes.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Padilla García last month signed a bill that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and expression in the U.S. commonwealth. The New York Assembly last month once again approved a measure – the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act – that would add trans-specific protections to the state’s non-discrimination and hate crimes laws.

The University of Delaware has also added gender identity and expression to its anti-discrimination policies.

Attorney General Beau Biden and Markell have both publicly backed SB 97.

How is your church doing with welcoming transgender people? You can work to make your church more welcoming by using MLP’s Top 10 Ways to Welcome Transgender People to Church (pdf) and our resources on Gender Identity and Expression.

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