Yesterday, the Connecticut Senate began consideration of HB 6599, an extensive bill that would prohibit discrimination against individuals because of their gender identity or expression. But lawmakers have introduced at least five amendments that would limit the protections afforded and enshrine demonizing transphobic stereotypes into the law:
- THE KIDS CAN’T KNOW: Sen. John Kissel (R) proposed two different amendments related to the discrimination of elementary school teachers who transition. Both would allow for a teacher who begins to transition to be reassigned (though thankfully not fired) at the discretion of a local school board, and only one of them would allow the teacher to return to his or her former position the following year. Nothing reduces the stigma of gender transition like trying to hide children from witnessing it or learning about it.
- PUNISH THE FAKERS: Kissel obviously doesn’t trust transgender people, which is why he also thinks that anyone who fakes their gender identity to commit a crime deserves a harsher punishment. Does he think that people who would do such a thing are being held back by not having non-discrimination protections?
- SHOW ME YOUR PAPERS: Meanwhile, Sen. John McKinney (R) wants to limit the definition of gender identity to only those individuals who are diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder by a psychologist. Such a restriction would eliminate any protections the bill would afford to people based on their perceived gender identity.
- NOT IN MY LOCKER ROOM: The above amendments pale in comparison to an amendment supported by a cadre of 13 Republicans that would create exceptions to the protections for, among other things, bathrooms and locker rooms. Such a suggestion surely stems from the offensive proposition that all trans women are sexual predators (opponents reduce the entire set of protections to a “bathroom bill”). It was the same tactic used in Tennessee recently to push for legislation overturning Nashville’s nondiscrimination protections. There has never been a documented case of a transgender woman misusing a bathroom.