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Nevada’s GOP Gov Signs Trans Protections Bill

Nevada’s GOP Gov Signs Trans Protections Bill

Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval on Tuesday signed legislation to protect trans people from discrimination in the workplace, and, what is more, sources say Sandoval has pledged to sign two other bills protecting trans people in the housing and public accommodations sectors.

From Las Vegas Review Journal:

The law makes it illegal “to fail to hire or to fire or otherwise discriminate” against transgender people. Only employers with 15 or more employees will be subject to the law.

[...]

Nevada is an “at will” state where employers usually do not need to give a reason to hire or fire employees, unless the employee is covered by a labor agreement. But Nevada law also prevents job discrimination based on a person’s color, race, sex, religion, age, disability or national origin. Now “gender identity or expression” is being added to that list.

“He (the governor) did the right thing,” Aizley said. “It will make 20,000 to 25,000 [transgender people] very happy.”

Aizley said the governor also has promised to sign the two other transgender bills, Senate Bill 331 and Senate Bill 368, once they reach his desk, perhaps as early as today. .

Parks, the primary sponsor of the 1999 law that outlawed job discrimination against gays and lesbians, said Nevada has a “proud history” of protecting the personal liberty of all its citizens.

“It is wrong to discriminate against people for characteristics that harm no one else and that are a legitimate expression of their sense of self,” said Parks about AB211. “It is harmful to society to deprive such individuals of the ability to earn a living, find housing, to use stores, restaurants and other facilities and live free of fear.”

Estimates suggest that the unemployment rate among trans people is around two or three times higher than the overall rate, which for the size of the community is highly disproportionate.

Where states have enacted similar laws allowing trans people a legal remedy for discrimination, there have been relatively few complaints. Fourteen states now explicitly outlaw discrimination against trans people. Other states may offer some protection and legal remedy under sex discrimination laws but such cover is often imperfect and is dependent on interpretation of the law.

All of the aforementioned bills add a stipulation that a person cannot be discriminated against on the basis of their perceived or actual gender identity which is defined by the individual regardless of their birth-assigned sex.

Nevada’s workplace anti-discrimination law will come into effect Oct. 1 of this year.

Currently, no federal law banning employment discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation exists.

A federal trans-inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act currently sits in Congress. It is not expected to gain traction this year, however.

In the short-term, advocates have pressed President Obama to issue an executive order for LGBT workplace protections which would be a non-permanent and limited measure until ENDA can be moved in Congress. You can read more on the possibility of an executive order here.

For more on ENDA, please click here.

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

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17 comments

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12:27PM PDT on Jun 22, 2011

Way to go Nevada!

6:32PM PDT on May 29, 2011

Let's take steps to grant dignity and respect to human beings.

8:29PM PDT on May 28, 2011

GREAT NEWS !!!

12:54PM PDT on May 27, 2011

It is wonderful that this is coming up everywhere, and that so much legislation is passing to remove transgender discrimination

7:39PM PDT on May 26, 2011

First Connecticut, now Nevada. This has been a crazy 2010-2011 with wild swings from radical right agendas to some meaningful "people" legislation. What did MLK say? ... the arc of history bends towards justice.

6:45PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Thank you gov. Sandova

11:27AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Fantastic! Thank you Gov. Sandova!

10:12AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Thank you Gov. Sandoval... whether people like it or not, we are all one, and when one is oppressed, so are we all.

8:47AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Makes sense. In any entertainment mecca, the prettiest showgirls and dancers may not have been born XX.

7:44AM PDT on May 26, 2011

a good thing :)

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