Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Politics At Its Worst

Last week I wrote about Politics at its best’s well this week I am writing about politics at its worst.
Monday I went up to the Capital to watch the vote in the House. When It came on the floor for a vote three Republicans successfully filibustered the bill by asking the same questions over and over again; does this bill allow men to use the women's bathrooms, does this bill allow a male teachers to come to class dressed as a women, does this bill allow a male student to come to class as a girl and does this mean a man can use a women's shower. They kept on varying the questions but was basic these same questions over again.
Then they added an amendment to allow home schooling and that got objected to on the grounds that it didn't pertain to the bill. They then took a time out to huddle in their respective corners and came back and agreed to table the bill for now. Then they went on to the next bill. After about a three hour debate the bill was tabled.
Connecticut has weird legislative sessions; the odd numbered years they meet only until early May and the even numbered years the meet until June 6th. So this year the legislative session adjourns on Wednesday at midnight so the bill is dead for this session.

Transgender Rights Bill Loses Momentum
June 5, 2007
By COLIN POITRAS, Courant Staff Writer
An effort to give transgender individuals equal protection under the state's anti-discrimination laws got bogged down in debate Monday, leaving the bill's future in doubt with the legislative session scheduled to end at midnight Wednesday.

The proposal had made its way through several legislative committees earlier this year and was approved by the state Senate May 23. But after nearly three hours of House debate Monday afternoon, the bill was set aside, a sign that the legislation is in trouble...

Some Republicans in the House expressed concern about the bill's possible impact on primary schools.

"Our classrooms have to provide the best educational opportunity for our students," said Republican Rep. Kevin Witkos, a police sergeant from Canton. "Do you honestly think young people will be able to concentrate in the classroom if their teacher is dressed in clothing of their opposite sex? I think not."

Witkos said he understood the intent of the bill, but felt it needed more work.

State Rep. Arthur J. O'Neill, R-Southbury, questioned how the provision might be applied in cases where students come to school dressed in clothing of the opposite sex and in cases where a boy might want to play on the school's girls' basketball team.

"Would the school district be obligated to let the student go to school dressed in that way?" O'Neill asked. "Where would the boy shower?"

An amendment that would have allowed elementary school principals to transfer transgender teachers to older student classrooms or to non-classroom positions was discussed but didn't come up for a vote...


To me they showed a complete lack of understanding bordering on transphobia. Their fears that they expressed were totally unfounded, there are already laws that exempt sex segregated facilities from the anti-discrimination status that apply. There are laws that allow sports teams to be segregated and there are laws that allow showers to be segregated. They harped on the fact that a child might transition in school and it would be disruptive, well so are a lot of other things are we going to ban them? If a student has cancer, it might be hard on the other students to deal with that or if a student is gay are we going to send that child home because some of the others children might not like the fact that he is gay.

These three Representatives kept on saying we are not against protecting people with Gender Identity Dysphoria, but didn’t seem that way.

3 comments:

Fleur de Lisa said...

It is also ignorance and fear at its worst. How sad.

Anonymous said...

sahxaDiana,
When I read the newspaper article regarding SB1044, my heart sank. For only three people to be able to do a filibuster for three hours is dishartening, bigoted, and mean spirited. Will we ever have our basic human rights guaranteed us by law? I was further dishartened by the responses to that Hartford newspaper article made by area people.

Life said...

Hello Diana,

You didn't have an e-mail available so I am just leaving you this note here, I hope you don't mind!I am a writer for the online magazine, Nerve.com. I recently reviewed an epic indie-film entitled XXY and was able to get an interview with the director. I am really excited about sharing my interview and the film with as many people as possible- you never know when your knowledge may fall on another ignorant ear and change someone's view of the transgender community.

Anyway, I am just sending some notes around to bloggers that might be interested in the movie or my piece, and though you might like to link it on your page? If so, here it is:

http://www.nerve.com/CS/blogs/screengrab/archive/2008/05/02/screengrab-q-amp-a-lucia-puenzo.aspx

Thanks for taking a look & I really appreciate your time! Hope you enjoy!

All the best,
Alexandra Godfrey