Legislation filed today would establish a new civil action against a person who commits a discriminatory practice based on the claimant’s gender identity or expression. HB 188 by Rep. Diego Bernal (D-San Antonio) and SB 233 by Sen. John Whitmire (D-Houston) would add Chapter 100B, CPRC, to enable an aggrieved person to bring an action in district court not later than two years after the date of the occurrence of the termination of an alleged discriminatory practice. A “discriminatory practice” occurs if a person denies, on the basis of another person’s gender identity or expression, full and equal accommodation in any place of public accommodation (unless the same treatment applies to everyone) or otherwise discriminates against the person based on gender identity or expression. If the court finds that the defendant has committed a discriminatory practice, it may award actual and punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, and injunctive relief. The bill further requires state agencies to prohibit state contractors from discriminating against a person based on the person’s gender identity or expression, establishes a complaint mechanism for aggrieved persons, and authorizes administrative penalties for violations. The bill additionally makes a discriminatory practice based on gender identity or expression an unlawful employment practice under Chapter 21, Labor Code. Finally, the bill makes a number of conforming changes to add discrimination based on gender identity or expression to other anti-discrimination statutes, primarily in the Property Code.