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Connecticut House Approves Trans Non-Discrimination Bill

Connecticut House Approves Trans Non-Discrimination Bill

The Connecticut state House approved a bill late last week that would grant transgender citizens protections from discrimination in employment, public accommodations and the sale or rental of housing, as well as in application for credit and all other laws under the jurisdiction of the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

The bill was approved by lawmakers in a 77-62 vote. It adds “gender identity or expression,” defined as a person’s self-determined gender regardless of their birth-assigned sex, to existing protections that cover such classifications as race and disability.

As such, it would make it a Class A misdemeanor to discriminate against someone on the grounds of their gender identity and expression and could be punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $2,000, or both.

Testimony on the bill was varied and emotional. While at times there was the usual rhetoric and baseless accusations about such legislation opening up bathrooms to sexual predators (that is never accompanied by actual cases of this happening where such protections have already been granted), other lawmakers decided to take a stand against such rhetoric.

From the Hartford Courant:

Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Brandford, worried about what might happen if his 6-year-old daughter needed to use a restaurant rest into which he could not accompany her. “Seeing male genitalia in a bathroom. … That’s what my daughter will be exposed to,” he said.

Candelora said he knew “the odds of my daughter walking in” on a male in the rest room are unlikely, “but if it happens once, I need to then have [a] conversation with her” that she is too young to have.

“I agree with [the] underlying premise in this bill” — that people shouldn’t face discrimination — Candelora said, but he added that he couldn’t support it because it would mean restrooms and locker rooms would now be opened up to such potential problems.

[...]

Rep. Kim Fawcett, D-Fairfield, said she is a Christian who leads “a very active, faith-based life,” and “it’s because my faith is so important to me” that she supports the bill, “to assure that people, even if they’re different from us” are “treated equally under the law.”

She blasted unnamed religious activists “who have slandered the intent of the proposal before us” and “stirred up fear.” Such individuals have “not stood up for the same God or the same faith that I hold so dear,” Fawcett said.

The bill must now be approved by the state’s Senate.
 

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Photo used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to brainchildvn.

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16 comments

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6:28PM PDT on May 29, 2011

This is a move in the right direction....

1:00PM PDT on May 27, 2011

Great news from Connecticut as well as Nevada! Thanks for sharing.

7:22AM PDT on May 27, 2011

Thanks for the article.

6:57PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Great news in Connecticut; trouble is, I live in Texas.

6:43PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Great news.

6:10PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Yahoo! At least some people realize that how you pay your bills and what your work ethic is like has nothing to do with what is between your legs. And is Rep. Candelora assuming that his daughter regularly sees female genitalia in public restrooms now? If she does, someone should tell her she is doing it wrong!

4:19PM PDT on May 26, 2011

Good news! I hope it becomes a reality!

11:23AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Yeah Kim Fawcett! and I agree with Beth M.; it would be very very unusual for his daughter to walk into a stall and see male genitalia. Weak argument.

10:52AM PDT on May 26, 2011

Thank for passing this measure in the House. I hope it passes in the Senate and is signed into law. The rest room issue? Well guess where transgender people already use the restroom? Yep. The trans women use the womens and have been for years. The trans men use the mens as well of course. The real issue is fear mongering nothing more. If something is different it must be bad is the rational. Phooey. Trans people are wonderful people just link everyone else and should have the same rights to employment, housing and public access as everyone else has. There is not one valid reason for discrimination in the USA or under Gods law.

10:30AM PDT on May 26, 2011

To Vince Candelora... women's restrooms have stalls you dummy! You don't have to worry about your children being exposed to male gentalia! I hope this will pass in Connecticut... if so that will make two states in a row... we're on a roll, folks! We are all one, and when we discriminate against one, we all lose.

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