Hawaii Lawmakers Pass Transgender Protection Bill

Civil unions grabbed all the headlines, but another, no less controversial bill related to the LGBT community is still moving through the legislature. HB546, which would make it illegal for employers to discriminate on the basis of “gender identity or expression,” cleared both the House and Senate, and now awaits Gov. Abercrombie’s signature.

The bill enjoys support from gay and civil rights groups and major labor unions including the AFL-CIO and Hawaii Government Employees Association. But, naturally, it has detractors as well.

In testimony provided to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Hawaii Family Forum (“family,” as ever, being code for “religious”) suggested the bill would undermine the ability of “Christian and other organizations with an opposing view…to act on their beliefs without facing stigma or punishment.”

Church groups played the victim with civil unions and lost — but apparently it’s still their favorite trick.