Washington state will become the first state in the nation to ban discrimination against individuals with disabilities, but it will still be up to the states to decide which ones will be allowed to expand protections for the vulnerable.
The House is set to vote on a bill Monday that would prohibit discrimination against a person with a disability in any federal, state or local government.
If it passes, it would be the latest in a series of bills to pass the House in recent years, including one to ban “sexist” and “unreasonable” government policies.
A similar bill died in the Senate in May.
“We want to make sure that every state is on the same page,” House Speaker Mike O’Brien, a Democrat from Spokane, said in a statement.
O’Connor, a transgender woman, has filed a lawsuit against the state and federal government over a policy requiring individuals to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity. “
With the passage of our sweeping legislation, we will make sure all states are on the forefront of ensuring that every one has the protections and benefits that we believe are most essential to everyone.”
O’Connor, a transgender woman, has filed a lawsuit against the state and federal government over a policy requiring individuals to use bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
She said she was targeted for months when she went to the bathroom at a local hospital to change in a women’s restroom.
In response, she was fired from a job in which she worked, and her gender identity was changed.
She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) last year.
The agency has opened an investigation into the issue.
O’Connell has asked the Senate to pass legislation to ban the discrimination against transgender people.
Orenne Smith, the president and CEO of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), told The Hill that her organization is also planning to push for an expanded bill to include transgender people in the list of people protected from discrimination in state and local government policies, as well as in federal laws.
“The federal government has a lot of power over our lives and our lives as Americans, but they have to use that power in a way that respects people with a range of identities,” Smith said.
“For example, in our law, the federal government cannot require people with certain medical conditions to use facilities that are not gender-neutral or to be able to use restrooms that are separate from the gender with which they identify.”