Social conservatives in Connecticut say
they oppose a bill that would ban transgender discrimination because
the measure would leave women and children vulnerable to attacks from
The proposed bill would outlaw
discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the areas of
employment, housing, public accommodations and credit.
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing
on the bill that lasted more than 11 hours, Peter Wolfgang, president
of the socially conservative Family Institute of Connecticut,
referred to the measure as the “bathroom bill.”
“I am here today to oppose bill 6599,
An Act Concerning Discrimination, or as it is known to us the
'bathroom bill,'” Wolfgang
“This bill is a radical assault on
the right to privacy and safety of all women and children on behalf
of one of the smallest special interest groups. Nothing would
prevent a sexual predator from pretending that he is confused about
his sex to gain access to vulnerable women and children in what
should be safe spaces for their accommodation and health.”
The committee's chairman, Democratic
Representative Gary Holder-Winfield, grilled Wolfgang on his
“You said if this bill passes,
nothing would prevent the sexual predators from taking the actions
that you suggest might happen,” he said. “What prevents them
from doing that now?”
“Well they'd certainly have more of a
reason to do it,” Wolfgang answered.
“But my question to you is, what
prevents them from doing it now?” he repeated.
“Well, I mean, you know, there are
laws that prevent crimes, obviously, from taking place in bathrooms
in general. But, I mean, why give sexual predators a pretext? Why
give them an excuse to say, 'Look, I'm transgendered and that's why I
went into the women's bathroom.' Obviously it's – you know, there
are laws for registered sex offenders.”
At Holder-Winfield's pressing Wolfgang
eventually agreed that laws against such crimes would continue to be
enforced even if the bill became law.
Governor Dan Malloy, a Democrat, has
said he'll sign the bill if approved by lawmakers.
similar measure in Maryland dropped its public accommodations
language in an effort to boost support.