Hawaii's House of Representatives has approved and sent to the governor a bill giving employment protection to transgender individuals.
In a 45-4 vote, the House agreed to accept the Senate's amended draft of the bill, which bars employers from discriminating on the basis of gender expression
The co-chairman of the political advocacy group Equality Hawaii, Alan Spector, says providing employment protections to transgender people is a victory for civil rights.
"We've done a great job advancing civil rights protections for gay and lesbian people but folks who are transgender, a lot of legislation to help them is probably about a decade behind, the gay and lesbian civil rights legislation. So we are really excited now that Hawaii has caught up, so everybody is now included in our civil rights laws in this State."
Equality Hawaii's Alan Spector.
A similar bill was passed two years ago but was vetoed by the then Governor, Linda Lingle.