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Delaware – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Documentation of Discrimination

Abstract

On July 2, 2009, Delaware added the term “sexual orientation” to the already-existing list of protected categories; the statute now prohibits discrimination against a person on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance. It does not include gender identity, although an executive order does. Prior to 2009, the Delaware legislature repeatedly attempted and failed to enact legislation aimed at ending discrimination against gays in employment, public housing, public accommodation, insurance and public contracts. Despite the fact that the Delaware Division of Industrial Affairs had received more than 500 complaints of employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or association with an individual based on sexual orientation by 1999, bills to prevent such discrimination failed each year between 1998 and 2009.

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