Protesters gather in Hartford to oppose bills that prevent parents from claiming religious exemptions for their child’s vaccinations

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — More than a hundred protesters gathered at the state capitol to fight for their religious freedom and the futures of as many 8,000 children. They say the students could be kicked out of school if one of two bills passes and the students aren’t immunized.

“Parents get to choose what’s the best for their kids,” said State Rep. Irene Hayes, (R) 34th District.

Republican lawmakers joined protesters for the Tuesday afternoon rally.

“It’s definitely my body my choice and we are going to do our best to make that happen for you,” said State Rep. David Wilson, (R) 66th District.

The protestors brought their children and families. Those they say they are trying to protect. 

They are protesting House Bill 6423 and Senate Bill 568 which seek to remove religious exemption and non-medical exemption from immunization. 

“No government should force anyone to get a needle in their arms,” said Marianne Hod of Newtown.

“I believe in the Ten Commandments where it is… I honor your father and mother and it’s a parent’s right to decide for their child. I don’t ask permission from the government,” said Marguerite Christie of Watertown.

“I think there’s nothing more important than public health, getting people vaccinated and I think the more people that are vaccinated the better, the safer it is for your schools,” said Gov. Ned Lamont.

“We do not believe it is the good of the public health,” said Hod.

“To set up a clinic in the church is blasphemy. It is anti-god because it is supposed to be a place where healing happens,” said Pastor Dr. Aaron Lewis.

After the rally some of the protestors went to nearby neighborhoods to help spread the message. They say canvassing during COVID isn’t easy so they had pamphlets which spelled it all out.

“We have these flyers and basically it gives basic inforamation about why we believe the religious exemption should be saved,” said Barbara Rubin of Trumbull.

Both bills may make it to the floor in the House and Senate in May.

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