Metro Weekly

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signs transgender bill into law

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Markell.pngGov. Jack Markell (D) Wednesday evening signed into law a transgender rights bill that prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, insurance and public accommodations and includes gender identity as a protected class under Delaware’s hate-crimes law. 

Shorlty before signing, the bill passed the Senate 11-9 after being amended to clarify the meaning of gender identity. It passed the House 24-17 a day earlier. With Markell’s signature, the First State joins 16 others and the District of Columbia in extending employment and housing protections to transgender people. 

“Our mission to build a welcoming and accepting state that can compete in the global economy requires laws that reflect our values,” Markell said in a statement released just prior to signing the bill into law. “Today, we guarantee that our transgendr relatives and neighbors can work hard, participate in our communities, and live their lives with dignity and safety.”

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization, released a statement praising the bill’s passage and signing into law. 

“The Delaware Legislature sent a clear message today that transgender residents deserve to be treated equally and protected under the law,” HRC President Chad Griffin said in a statement. “Delaware advocates and lawmakers are standing up and ensuring that the First State is one which welcomes all people, and provides the same protections and opportunities.”

[Photo: Gov. Jack Markell (courtesy of the Office of the Governor).]

Please Support LGBTQ Journalism

As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at

Leave a Comment: