On Monday, Hawaii's senate judiciary committee approved a bill
previously passed by the house that seeks to officially ban workplace
discrimination based on gender identity.
While the state currently has laws on its books that ban discrimination against transgender individuals in the areas of housing and public accommodations, "the ban on employment discrimination has been established by rulings of the Civil Rights Commission [but] has not been written into the state statute," reports KITV.com.
Six years ago, Gov. Linda Lingle vetoed an identical bill, but this time around Sen. Clayton Hee, chairman of the judiciary committee, believes the provision will become law.
"I suppose that the advocates want statutory law so it's defendable in a court of law," said Hee. "It's as much an expression, I would imagine, as the civil union law is an expression of equality in Hawaii."