A bill that died in a Delaware state senate committee last year has been resurrected in the state house in a renewed effort to prohibit discrimination in the state based on sexual orientation. Unlike last year, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner is in the forefront of advocates working for passage of House Bill 99, which barely cleared the house by a 21-20 margin last year, then died in the senate. "Thank you for your perseverance. Thank you for your hard work," Minner told about 80 people who rallied at Legislative Hall in Dover on Thursday. "It will pay off in the end."
The proposed legislation adds sexual orientation, "whether real or perceived," to a list of characteristics, including age and race, that cannot be used as a basis for discrimination against people in employment, housing, public accommodations, insurance, or public works contracting. The bill exempts religious groups and does not require employers to offer health care or other benefits to partners of gay or lesbian employees.