The Task Force issued a press release today regarding the passage of a civil rights law in Washington that extends protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Washington becomes the 7th state to include gender identity and the 17th state to include sexual orientation in it's basic civil rights laws.
"This is an extremely important win. For many years, the Task Force has worked on the ground, shoulder to shoulder with activists in Washington state helping to build the political power of our community and to pass this nondiscrimination legislation," said Washington state resident Marsha Botzer, board co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and board secretary of Equal Rights Washington. "This victory is to be savored, but more importantly, it is to be built upon. We will 'build, win, build' until we achieve complete equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Let us love the victory but build for the future."
The press release stresses that 48% of the US population now live in jurisdictions with protections based on sexual orientation. This is up from 10 years ago, when the percentatge was about 34%.
The press release fails to mention that with this victory, 30% of the US population now live in jursidications with protections based on gender identity. Just 5 years ago, that percentage was only 5%. For a complete breakdown of all jurisdictions by population that cover transgender people as of January 2006, download this PDF. For the latest version of this document, go to the Transgender Civil Righs Project.
Trans people are catching up and at a staggering rate. This is something to celebrate!