Rights for the transgender community took a step forward in Nevada yesterday, when the state's governor, Republican Brian Sandoval, approved a bill protecting transgender people from workplace discrimination. The law, which goes into effect October 1, applies to employers with 15 or more employees and allows trans people to file claims of discrimination with the Nevada Equal Rights Commission.
The signing took place yesterday at a ceremony in Carson City.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the governor also intends to sign bills that prohibit discrimination against trans people in public accommodations and in property or housing sale and rental. Protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation have been included in Nevada since 1999.
The primary sponsors of the bill signed into law yesterday were Paul Aizley, a Democratic assemblyman from Las Vegas, and two Democratic senators, David Parks from Las Vegas and Sheila Leslie from Reno. Parks spoke highly of the law's ability to protect members of the LGBT community. He said, speaking about the approved law and the other two pending anti-discrimination bills:
It is wrong to discriminate against people for characteristics that harm no one else and that are a legitimate expression of their sense of self. It is harmful to society to deprive such individuals of the ability to earn a living, find housing, to use stores, restaurants, and other facilities to live free of fear.
The decision makes Nevada the fourteenth state to ban job discrimination based on gender identity or expression.