This Week’s Developments in LGBTQ Nondiscrimination

January 11, 2019 • 1:01 pm

Momentum building for LGBTQ nondiscrimination at every level in early days of 2019

WASHINGTON – Governors in Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin have now signed pro-LGBTQ executive orders, expanding nondiscrimination protections for state employees. And statehouses are welcoming lawmakers back for 2019 legislative sessions — in several states, lawmakers are preparing to advance bills that would expand protections for LGBTQ residents, and on Capitol Hill, lawmakers in the House have pledged to introduce the Equality Act, which would ensure equal treatment under the law for all LGBTQ Americans. Freedom for All Americans’ Weekly LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Update has all the latest developments that should be on your radar:

Governors in Michigan and Wisconsin Latest to Sign Pro-LGBTQ Executive Orders:
2019 began with two new governors signing executive orders expanding protections for LGBTQ state employees. In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order barring discrimination against LGBTQ people in state employment, public services, and state contracting. In Wisconsin, Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order against anti-LGBTQ discrimination in state employment and contracting. It was the first executive order Evers signed on his first day in office. These two EOs came on the heels of two other midwestern Governors signing executive orders protecting LGBTQ state employees. Right before leaving office, Rick Snyder signed an EO in Michigan, and outgoing Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed a similar EO protecting state employees from discrimination.

Legislative Sessions Begin in States Slated to Advance LGBTQ Protections:
Statehouses across the country are welcoming lawmakers back for 2019 legislative sessions. Freedom for All Americans is working with our local and national partners in  several states where LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections are likely to advance. In New York, The Gender Expression Nondiscrimination Act (GENDA) is likely to see passage through both houses of the state legislature in the coming days. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has expressed support for GENDA and pledged to expand nondiscrimination protections for New York’s transgender community. In Virginia, legislation providing protections for LGBTQ Viriginians in public employment and housing have passed the Republican-controlled state Senate for three consecutive years. State lawmakers are now prioritizing the passage of similar legislation in 2019.

FFAA is anticipating movement on several LGBTQ related bills in multiple states. You can read our rundown previewing the 2019 legislative session here.

Texas Lt. Gov. Says Legislature Will Not Prioritize Anti-Transgender Legislation in 2019:
As momentum builds nationwide for expanded nondiscrimination protections, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick announced this week that the state legislature will not pursue any anti-transgender bills as they have done during previous sessions. Patrick championed anti-LGBTQ legislation in 2017, including a measure that would have restricted the use of public restrooms for transgender Texans. The measure was ultimately defeated. Patrick’s avoidance of pursuing any anti-transgender legislation is further proof that lawmakers are finding it harder and harder to pass anti-LGBTQ bills. 2018 proved to be a landmark year, with numerous successful campaigns defeating anti-LGBTQ efforts. The approach used by anti-LGBTQ organizations has failed time and time again, with organizers like the president of the anti-transgender organization MassResistence admitting that their strategy to win a pivotal fight in Massachusetts was entirely concocted to stoke fears among voters

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