All three are aimed at keeping members of that community healthy and safe. The new laws ban the so-called Gay and Transgender defense in assault cases, expand pre-exposure prophylaxis for younger people and establishes a statewide LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Network.
Joined by LGBTQ+ advocates from around the state, Governor Lamont signing all three bills into law Tuesday. He was joined as well by lawmaker from both political parties in celebrating what is considered major legislative achievements.
Lamont saying, “We’re going to continue to be a leader in LGBTQ rights and respect and pride and diversity because, I think, that’s one of the things that makes Connecticut great and makes America great.”
If you attended any of last month’s LGBT Pride events you know that this is a significant minority in the state. Many at today’s signing say one of the most significant new laws is the one establishing an LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network.
“We’ve never had a needs assessment of the Queer Community that studies the whole state level…ever,” said Patrick Dunn of the New Haven Pride Center.
While larger communities, like New Haven, and even Middletown have outreach services there are plenty of places in the state with none, Dunn adding, “The Queer Community is an invisible minority so people don’t study us. People don’t create statistics around us. If you fill out a ‘diversity quota,’ Queer isn’t on it.”
And the new law that allows young people access to pre exposure prophylaxis to prevent AIDS is also considered a major legal landmark allowing access without parental permission so those who have not been able to confide in their parents can be protected.
Dr. Krystn Wagner of the Fair Haven Community Clinic noting, “1 in every 5 new HIV infections in the United States are among youth ages 13 to 24. Of these 80 percent are among young gay and bisexual males.”
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