Connecticut Legislature adds Transgender Protections to State’s Anti-Discrimination Laws
June 4, 2011 by Tony Wagner, Western Regional Field Director
Earlier this morning, at 12:26am, the Connecticut State Senate passed HB 6599: An Act Concerning Discrimination by a vote of 20-16. This was largely a party line vote, with two Democratic Senators voting against it. The bill was already passed by the State House 77-62. The bill now goes to the desk of Gov. Dan Malloy (D), who has said he will sign the landmark legislation.
Governor Malloy called it a "step forward in the fight for equal rights for all of Connecticut's citizens and it’s the right thing to do."
This crucial advancement in transgender rights follows on the footsteps of Hawaii and Nevada, where supportive legislatures, as well as Democratic and Republican Governors, recognized that a person should be judged on their merits and not on who they are. Upon signing, Connecticut will be the 15th U.S. state, along with the District of Columbia, to provide protections based on gender identity or expression. For maps of nondiscrimination laws in the states, please visit: www.HRC.org/State_Laws.
This March, I had been invited to provide testimony to the Judiciary Committee along with many members of the local community, faith and women's organizations. The coordination of this was executed extremely well by members of ctEquality, who we thank and congratulate for their tremendous efforts.
The legislation adds the words “gender identity or expression” to other groups that may not be discriminated against in jobs, housing, public accommodations and credit. The law now includes, among other classes, race, age, sex, marital status and mental or physical disability.
The bill defines gender identity or expression as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.”
The person must be able to provide evidence of his or her gender identity, such as medical history, “consistent and uniform assertion, or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, part of a person’s core identity or not being asserted for an improper purpose,” according to the law.
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