Last week the Connecticut state senate approved a bill to give trans citizens equal protection in the workplace, in searching for housing and obtaining credit. The bill passed in a 20-16 vote.
The bill garnered the usual unfounded warnings regarding opening the door to sexual predators and the often used “bathroom bill” meme, but other legislators were much more positive, saying this was just a matter of basic fairness.
“It is not in, my estimation, a big deal to provide the protection they are seeking,” Sen. Eric Coleman (D-Bloomfield) is quoted as saying in the Hartford Courant, also adding: “In my estimation, that’s what the state of Connecticut should be about.”
Determined not to let this pass without a fight, those Republicans opposing the bill offered a number of amendments, including one provision that would have made public spaces whose access is determined by gender, such as bathrooms and lockers, exempt from the bill.
Another amendment would have given special exemptions to school districts who, under the amendment, would have been able to reassign teachers who were transitioning to another gender.
All such amendments were voted down.
The bill was approved by House lawmakers last month 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. This could be punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of $2,000, or both.
The bill now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s desk. The governor has pledged to sign the bill.