The Delaware House on Tuesday approved a bill which aims to prohibit discrimination against transgender people.

The measure (Senate Bill 97) would ban discrimination based on gender identity and expression in the areas of employment, housing, insurance and public accommodations.

After a roughly 1 hour debate, the bill cleared the House with a 24-17 vote.

The Senate approved the measure earlier this month and Democratic Governor Jack Markell has pledged his signature.

However, passage of an amendment introduced by Democratic Representative Bryon Short means the bill must first return to the Senate before heading to Markell's desk.

Short's amendment is meant to assuage the fears of opponents, who warned that the measure would invite sex offenders to lurk in public restrooms, endangering public safety.

To make its point, the Christian conservative Delaware Family Policy Council, which is leading the lobbying effort to kill the bill, released an online video showing a scruffy-looking man following a young girl into a restroom.

“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 Family Policy Council.

Short's amendment defines gender identity as a “consistent and uniform assertion” that is not “asserted for any improper purpose.”

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