With the stroke of Gov. Dan Molloy’s pen, Connecticut became the 15th state to ban discrimination in employment, housing and other laws based on gender identity or expression.
The Nutmeg State will extend protections to transgender and gender non-conforming residents in areas that fall under the legal jurisdiction of the state’s Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, including public accommodations, credit and more.
According to the 2011 report Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, discrimination against transgender/gender non-conforming Americans is endemic. Twenty-six percent of transgender people have lost a job due to bias; 50 percent have been harassed at work; and 19 percent experienced discrimination in housing decisions, according to the survey’s findings. Researchers also found transgender people of color are much more likely to experience discrimination than their white counterparts. LGBT advocates believe anti-discrimination laws like Connecticut’s will reduce bias-related challenges for gender non-conforming individuals.
“The alarming personal stories and stats show that transgender people face injustice in many places—from exclusionary workplaces to the grocery store to doctors’ offices. Connecticut responded appropriately to this crisis,” said Task Force executive director Rea Carey in a statement. “We thank Gov. Dan Molloy and lawmakers for ensuring that the people of Connecticut, regardless of gender identity or expression, are protected from such discrimination.”