The Delaware Senate on Thursday approved a bill aimed at prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.

Senate Bill 97, approved 11-to-7, would ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in the areas of employment, housing, insurance and public accommodations. It now heads to the House.

Governor Jack Markell has pledged his signature and Attorney General Beau Biden has publicly backed passage of the measure.

“In the end, discrimination is wrong, it is as simple as that,” Democratic Senator Margaret Rose, the bill's champion in the chamber, told colleagues.

The bill cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday.

At the hearing, opponents warned that the bill would invite sex offenders to lurk in public restrooms, endangering public safety.

“This bill makes no legal distinction between someone who is transgender and any other person who claims to be of the other sex, including predators, exhibitionists, peeping toms,” said Jordan Warfel of the Christian conservative Delaware Family Policy Council, which is leading the lobbying effort to kill the bill.

The group released an online video which shows a blond girl entering a woman's bathroom. A scruffy-looking man darts in behind her. “Is this what you want for Delaware?” a caption rhetorically asks.

The video and the argument that transgender protections offer shelter to sexual predators has been used in previous lobbying efforts in other states and municipalities.

Deputy Attorney General Patricia Dailey Lewis, director of the Department of Justice's family law section, criticized use of the video, calling it “offensive and exploitative to children and the people who work to protect them.”

“We do not have one known case, one reported case, of a transgender individual attacking a child,” she said.

Nicole Theis, president of the Family Policy Council, insisted that the law could be used by criminals to prey on children and young women.

“When you create the environment for trouble, that's what you're going to get,” she said. “Just because it hasn't happened yet, it doesn't mean it's not bad policy.”

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have approved similar laws protecting transgender people.