Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CT Governor Signs Gender Identity Protections Into Law

Governor Dan Malloy signed HB-6599-- "An Act Concerning Discrimination"-- into law today, making Connecticut the 15th state to protect its residents from discrimination on the basis of their gender identity.

The bill defines gender identity as follows:

"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, which gender-related identity can be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity 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."

One of the key points on which lobbyists and advocates were able to pressure legislators is the disproportionately high rate of unemployment rate among trans Americans, which is twice the national rate (PDF). 

 What's great about this piece of legislation is that it goes beyond employment discrimination.  Any field regulated by the state's Commission on Human Rights must cease any and all discriminatory action against trans people living in the Constitution State.  This includes employment, housing, public accomodations, and credit.  

Congrats, transfolk of Connecticut.  Now if we could only get the other 35 states to fall into line...

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