Hartford, Conn (WTNH) - The word transgender itself seems to be subject to some interpretation. Some believe that traditional sex labels are inadequate, but regardless of what they believe about that, they do believe they are subjected to discrimination, and need protection.
60-year-old Diana Lombardi of Berlin was born a man, but prefers to live as a woman, and 'came out' seven years ago as someone who is transgender. She watched closely Wednesday, hoping that the Judiciary Committee would advance this bill, because she feels it's really needed.
"My friends who have come out at work, a number of them have been fired. One person I know, that worked for twenty-five years at a company, when she 'came out,' the next day, they had a layoff of one person; her," Lombardi said.
"We feel that currently, our state law does not protect people on the basis of gender identity or expression," Sally Tamarkin of CT Equality said.
Those opposing the bill say that sexual predators could misuse this law in public restrooms and that it could lead to other problems.
"Men who say they are 'transgendered' will be able to go into women's public rest rooms, locker rooms in fitness facilities, single sex sleeping accommodations in dorms and so forth," said Peter Wolfgang from the Family Institute of Connecticut.
The sponsor of this bill says opponents are just using this issue to try to kill the bill because they are uncomfortable with the concept.
"We have laws that protect people from sexual predators on the books, which would still apply even if this bill passed," said Representative Gary Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven).
And some would like the law to say that a man, who lives as a woman, should have to use the men's rest room or locker room.
"This law would allow otherwise and could cause disruption or even assaults within one of these rest rooms or public locker rooms." said Representative Al Adinolfi (R-Cheshire).
Sources tell News 8 that there are enough votes on this committee to move this bill forward, that the chairs know that debating this bill will take a lot of time, and they'll get to it sometime before their committee deadline on April 15th.
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