Lawmakers in Maryland are due to vote on a bill which would ban discrimination against trans people.

The Fairness for All Marylanders Act, which is due to receive final approval from the Senate, would make it a crime to discriminate on the grounds of gender identity or gender expression.

According to the Washington Blade, the bill, which has 24 co-sponsors, is widely expected to pass the final vote this week.

Openly gay Democratic senator Rich Madaleno, who first introduced the bill last month, praised his colleagues for “their support in strengthening and approving the Fairness for All Marylanders Act”, as well as Equality Maryland, the Human Rights Campaign and other members of the Maryland Coalition for Trans Equality for their campaigning.

He said on Saturday: “I fully expect the Senate to finish the job and pass this important legislation early next week.”

“We’ve come too far in the fight for civil rights in Maryland to exclude a vulnerable group of citizens from their right to equal treatment under the law. Now is the time for full equality for all Marylanders.”

Just 17 of the 50 US states ban discrimination on the grounds of gender identity and expression.

Transgender campaigner Dana Beyer, who is hoping to become the first trans lawmaker in the state, will oppose Madaleno in the Democratic primary at the next election.

Last week the Arizona Governor vetoed a bill which would have legalised discrimination against gay people.