Press Room

May 04, 2004

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HRC Urges Connecticut Governor to Sign Hate Crimes Bill

Bill Would Add Gender Identity and Expression and Disability to Existing Law

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign today urged Republican Gov. John Rowland to sign into law a hate crimes bill passed by a strong bipartisan coalition. House Bill 5657 would amend existing hate crimes law to include gender identity and expression and disability.

"We strongly urge Governor Rowland to sign this important protection into law," said HRC President Cheryl Jacques. "Transgender people are facing physical threats and violence without protection. The time to pass this law was yesterday."

On April 30, the Connecticut Senate passed H.B. 5657 by a vote of 33-0, with 3 abstentions. The House passed the bill by a 139-4 vote on April 22.

"We have worked hard and effectively over the last few years educating legislators and the public on the issues surrounding gender identity and expression," said Jerimarie Liesegang, director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition. "Given the overwhelmingly positive vote by both the Connecticut House and Senate, we now urge Governor Rowland to sign this bill into law."

Alongside the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition, the Human Rights Campaign is a member of the Connecticut Hate Crimes Coalition, a coalition of local, state and national groups committed to passage of the bill. HRC Action Center users sent e-mails and made phone calls to legislators urging them to vote for the bill.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.

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