Early Saturday morning, the Connecticut Senate voted 20-16 to give final legislative approval to a bill that will prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations based on gender identity and expression. The bill passed the House of Representatives in a vote of 77-62 on May 19 and now heads to the desk of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D), who has pledged to sign it into law. When he does, Connecticut will become the 15th state, along with the District of Columbia, to provide protections based on gender identity or expression. Earlier this year, Hawaii and Nevada passed similar protections.
Gov. Malloy called Saturday's Senate vote a step forward "for equal rights for all of Connecticut's citizens."
"It's the right thing to do," said the governor in a written statement shortly after the vote was taken. “It’s difficult enough for people who are grappling with the issue of their gender identity, and discrimination against them has no place in our society.”
The measure, An Act Concerning Discrimination (HB 6599), was largely voted on along party lines. Republicans who opposed the measure proposed several amendments, all of which were defeated prior to the full-Senate vote early Saturday morning.
In the lead-up to Saturday's Senate vote, GLAAD worked closely with Dr. Jerimarie Leisegang, the director of the Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition, to ensure that journalists throughout Connecticut reported on the bill in a fair, accurate and inclusive manner. We will continue to closely monitor coverage of the bill until it is signed into law by Gov. Malloy.
GLAAD congratulates all of our colleagues in Connecticut, many of whom have worked tirelessly for seven years to see this day come to fruition. We look forward to Gov. Malloy signing the bill into law and to the day when it is illegal to discriminate against transgender people in all 50 states. In the meantime, we strongly encourage the media to report on the significance of what passing the non-discrimination bill will mean for transgender people in Connecticut. For more information on the prevalence of discrimination within the transgender community, please see the report “Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey,” released earlier this year by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF).