Delaware Governor John Carney has issued a directive for the education department to draft anti-discrimination policies to protect LGBTQ students in the state’s public and charter schools.
The memo was sent to Delaware’s Education Secretary Susan Bunting, calling for stronger protections statewide that would “prohibit discrimination based on gender, race and/or ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or any other protected characteristic.”
— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) July 19, 2017
If enacted, these guidelines would help ensure districts and charter schools create an inclusive environment for all LGBTQ students.
“From Laurel to Wilmington, all Delaware students, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve access to a safe and quality education free from bullying or discrimination,” said HRC National Press Secretary and Delaware native Sarah McBride. “This directive builds on the First State’s significant progress on LGBTQ equality over the last eight years. HRC thanks Governor Carney, Secretary Bunting, Senator McDowell, Representative Heffernan and Equality Delaware for their work and leadership on this critical issue.”
The directive called for the new regulations to be made public by November 1.
Delaware is no stranger in leading the efforts for full LGBTQ equality. In 2013, former Governor Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 97 into law, which added gender identity and expression to Delaware’s existing anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws.
The First State also became the 11th state to legalize marriage equality — two years before the landmark ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges that established the right for same-sex couples to marry nationwide.