Hawaii’s Trans Workplace Nondiscrimination Bill Passes Senate

A bill that would expand existing workplace nondiscrimination rules to encompass perceived or actual gender identity was passed by the Hawaii Senate on Tuesday by a vote of 22-2.

The bill, which the House has already approved, must now go back to the House for lawmakers to vote on amendments that were attached to the bill.

Governor Abercrombie is expected to sign the bill into law should it reach his desk.

From the Human Rights Campaign:

“The march towards full equality in the Aloha State continues,” said Alan Spector, Equality Hawaii Co-Chair.  “Providing employment protections to transgender citizens in Hawaii is a victory for civil rights and equal treatment under the law for all residents of our great state.”

“Following the passage of civil unions for Hawaii’s gay and lesbian residents, the enactment of employment protections for the state’s transgender people is another step forward in our fight towards equality in the Aloha State,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese.  “No one should be denied employment possibilities because of who they are, regardless of their gender identity or expression.”

The Human Rights Campaign and Equality Hawaii have worked closely together to build public and legislative support for this legislation. Through this joint effort, thousands of phone calls, emails and handwritten letters have been sent to legislators urging them to approve this legislation.  Both organizations submitted testimony and launched multiple statewide action alerts to mobilize members to contact their legislators.

Hawaii already has protections for transgender citizens in housing, public accommodations and employment, however the employment protections were established through Civil Rights Commission rulings and have not yet been written into state statute.

The bill, HB 546, passed the House at the beginning of March and would prohibit discrimination “on the basis of gender identity and expression as a public-policy matter and specifically with regard to employment.”

The issue of recognition for same-sex partners in Hawaii was finally addressed earlier this year when, after years of struggle, the Hawaii Legislature passed a bill making civil unions legal in the state. Read more on that here.

Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to -Marlith-.

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Catherine A.
Catherine A.4 years ago

Not only paradise for some, Paradise for all

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

Thank you for celebrating diversity and human being.....

Katherine S.
Katherine S.4 years ago

this is great news!!, now if only the rest of the world would realize that LGBT people are people too and should not be discriminated against for being who they are......

Merrily L.
La Loba L.4 years ago

I'm pleased to see this and look forward to our Governor signing it into law. I am a Christian, and I know many who call themselves Christian would say.. "but God said...", He also says that He will do the judging and it is NOT our place to do so. The Native Hawaiian and Native American both have a long history of respect for transgender people. It was, after all, the men with such tendancies who maintained and practiced the Hula, when the "Christian" missionaries forbid the practice of dancing the Hula. If you'll watch some of the contestants in Hawaii dancing the Hula in competitions such as The Merry Monarch, you will find that the feelings it evokes is gracefulness, and beauty, far more than sexuality.
LOL Compare that with many young people dancing today!

William Y.
William Y.4 years ago

Equal rights for all people.

K s Goh
KS Goh4 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Tracey D.
Tracey D.4 years ago

I wish more states would follow suit

Yvonne S.
Yvonne S.4 years ago

This is good news and I hope that more States will do the same.

Pippa Collins
Pippa Collins4 years ago

fantastic...a move forward in the recognition that transgendered people are human too, and deserve to be treated the same as all...
well done hawaii....xx

Ron Avila
Ron Avila4 years ago

finally some good news!