MADISON – Rep. Mark Spreitzer (D-Beloit) held a press conference today in the State Capitol to introduce a bill that would add protections to Wisconsin statutes against discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or gender expression. Reps. Spreitzer and Zamarripa are the Assembly lead authors, with Sen. Carpenter in the Senate. The Privacy Protection and Gender Identity Anti-Discrimination Act is currently in circulation for co-sponsorship. Members of the transgender community joined Rep. Spreitzer to share their stories about the need for this important legislation.

As with other legally protected groups, this bill rests on the simple concept that transgender people are people, and should be treated equally under the law. No one should be discriminated against based on a core part of who they are.  The bill will provide critical protections in areas such as employment, housing, public accommodations, job services, the UW system, Wisconsin Technical College system, public or charter schools, health insurance, car insurance, jury duty, and the Wisconsin national guard.

“In Wisconsin we have a rich history of leadership on issues of nondiscrimination and today we seek to continue that tradition by including critical legal protections for the transgender community in our state law.” –Rep. Mark Spreitzer

“There have been important strides in recent years for LGBT rights and protections, but there is still much work to be done.  This bill will continue to help advance all people’s dignity and equality under the law.” –Sen. Tim Carpenter

“There are approximately 58,000 Wisconsinites who are transgender or non-binary. All we ask is that people treat us with respect and judge us as individuals rather than assuming we are stereotypes.” – Loree Cook-Daniels, FORGE Policy and Program Director

“The transgender community is the most marginalized group on the planet, with 29% living in poverty, 46% being harassed at work, 47% facing physical or sexual harm, and 40% attempting suicide within their lifetime due to their gender identity or gender expression.  This discrimination must end.” – Colonel (ret) Sheri Swokowski, Fair Wisconsin Education Fund Vice Chair & ACLU of Wisconsin Board of Directors Member

“For far too long in Wisconsin, transgender people have been denied basic protections from discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public spaces. This bill would modernize Wisconsin’s nondiscrimination laws, level the playing field for transgender people, and send a powerful message to companies, workers, and students across the country that Wisconsin is open for business. It is time to extend full equality to transgender people across Wisconsin and I thank Rep. Spreitzer, Rep. Zamarripa, and Sen. Carpenter for their leadership on this vital issue.” – Sarah McBride, Human Rights Campaign National Press Secretary