HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont signed three bills into law on Tuesday designed to help Connecticut’s LGBTQ community stay safe and healthy.
One bill creates a health and human services network that will assess the needs of the community and recommend ways the state can create a healthier environment.
One major challenge is that close to a quarter of Connecticut’s homeless youth are LGBTQ. Many kicked out of their homes by families that do not accept who they are. There is also a high suicide rate in that community, indicating more mental health care is needed.
As for physical health care, a different bill is aimed at preventing the spread of HIV by increasing access to pre-exposure prophylaxis. Proponents say it is safe, effective and vital to preventing new HIV infections in Connecticut.
Speaking of safety, Governor Lamont signed a third bill that outlaws the so-called gay panic defense- an instance where someone claims that they beat up or killed a gay person simply because they were surprised to learn that person’s sexuality and were so panicked by it, they attacked that person.
It’s unclear if anyone has ever used that defense in Connecticut, but they have in several other states.
After today, saying you attacked someone because of their sexuality will no longer be an excuse in Connecticut. Instead, it will be treated for what it really is: admission of a hate crime.
The governor signed all three of those bills in a ceremony in his office on Tuesday.
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