Honolulu, Hawaii —
The Hawaii Senate approved a bill, previously passed by the House, to ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in the workplace.
"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."
Equality Hawaii and The Human Rights Campaign worked together to build support for HB 546, which passed by a 22 to 2 vote on Tuesday.
Discrimination against transgender individuals is already illegal in Hawaii for housing, public accommodations and employment, but the ban on employment discrimination has only been established by rulings of the Civil Rights Commission and has not been written into the state statute.
The legislation moves to gay-friendly Democratic Gov. Neil Abercromie. Upon the governor's signature, Hawaii will join 12 states and the District of Columbia to provide transgender employment, house and public accommodation protections.