Monday, February 25, 2008

Connecticut to Pass Transgender Rights Bill?

It's not only Massachusetts that's succumbing to transgender madness. Connecticut activists are now working to pass a transgender rights bill. Here in New England, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont already have done so. GLAD senior attorney for transgender issues, Jennifer Levi (who helped draft Bill H1722 here), is now working with the Connecticut activists.

Thirteen states plus D.C. already have "transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination laws." (See list.) As far as we know, none of those states' laws really define that phrase! Our humble opinion is that the really big lawsuits which will surely flor from these new laws won't be seen until more states have such laws in place -- especially the biggies that haven't yet fallen, like Massachusetts, New York and Florida.

"Connecticut legislature to discuss adding gender identity or expression to state non-discrimination law" (InNews Weekly, 2-21-08)
Jerimarie Liesegang [see Liesegang's blog & photo], executive director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition and board member at Love Makes a Family, was joined by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders senior attorney Jennifer Levi and activist Rachel Goldberg on Wednesday, February 20 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to discuss the chances of passage for a bill that would add gender identity and expression to the state's non-discrimination statutes.
Connecticut has no explicit law protecting individuals from discrimination based on gender identity or expression in employment, housing, public accommodations, lending or education. An Act Concerning Discrimination would add the phrase "gender identity or expression" to Connecticut's existing non-discrimination law, prohibiting this discrimination.
Should this bill pass, Connecticut will join 13 other states and Washington, D.C. in protecting its residents from this kind of discrimination....

In 2007, Connecticut legislators in four committees and the state Senate cast 80 votes to pass this bill and only nine to reject it. The House of Representatives did not vote on the bill so it died in the 2007 General Assembly.
In 2008, said Liesegang, "we have hope for a more successful outcome."