Tuesday, May 24, 2011

URGENT: Tell Sen. Toni Boucher to Support Transgender Rights

Are you from Westport, Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, or Wilton?  Then you can be critical in helping pass transgender rights in Connecticut.

Last week, the Connecticut State House passed HB 6599: An Act Concerning Discrimination.  This important bill would add "gender identity or expression" to the state's anti-discrimination statute, protecting transgender people from discrimination in employment, education, housing, public accommodations and credit.

The bill now goes to the State Senate, where they may be voting on it as early as this week.  We need to make sure it passes so that our transgender friends and family may be treated fairly in the Nutmeg State.

If you live in the aforementioned towns, your State Senator is Toni Boucher (R), the Deputy Minority Leader.  Though she is a Republican, she voted for marriage equality in 2009 - thus it is clear that she cares about equal rights.  However, when asked in 2008 whether Connecticut should "include gender identity in Connecticut's anti-discrimination laws," she answered "not sure."

Please contact Sen. Boucher and ask her to vote for HB 6599, as written, without any amendments that would weaken the bill.  It would be incredibly significant for a prominent Republican in Connecticut politics to vote in favor of LGBT rights: let's do everything we can to make sure she does!

You can write to Sen. Boucher here: I am going to do so as soon as I publish this post, and I strongly encourage all other constituents reading this to do so as well.

When filling out the information, choose "Bill (indicate below)" for the issue.  Courtesy of CT Equality, here is a script you can use for the Comment section - however, a personalized, unique message goes much further.

As you probably know, on May 19, the House passed HB 6599: An Act Concerning Discrimination. I am writing to urge you to vote for HB 6599 when it comes up for a vote in the Senate, without amendments. This is an issue of basic fairness and equality for the transgender residents of our state. Everyone should be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations and credit--we all deserve equal access to the building blocks of life and livelihoods, such as a job and a place to live. No one should live in fear of losing their job for any reason unrelated to job performance, including transgender people. Connecticut can affirm its commitment to providing equality and fairness by adding gender identity and gender expression to its non-discrimination statutes.

Will you support HB 6599 as written? I look forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for your time and attention to this important matter.

You can also call Sen. Boucher's office at 1-800-842-1421.

Please contact Sen. Boucher as soon as possible and ask her to support HB 6599 so that transgender people in Connecticut will be protected from discrimination.

If you do not live in Boucher's district, click here to find out who your state senator is, and contact him or her about this important legislation.

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