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 sexual predators.

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 told lawmakers.

“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 assertions.

“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.

A similar measure in Maryland dropped its public accommodations language in an effort to boost support.