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Connecticut State Rep. Embarrasses Anti-Trans Witness During Hearing

March 28, 2011 5:53 pm ET

Last week, the Connecticut House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HB 6599, which would add “gender identity or expression” to the state’s anti-discrimination statute. During the hearing, Chairman Rep. Holder-Winfield (D-New Haven) grilled Family Institute of Connecticut president Peter Wolfgang on his claim that non-discrimination protections would increase the number of sexual assaults in public bathrooms, pointing out that laws prohibiting that kind of assault already exist:

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REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD: Good afternoon, Mr. Wolfgang.

WOLFGANG: Good afternoon.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD: You said if this bill passes, nothing would prevent the sexual predators from taking the actions that you suggest might happen. What prevents them from doing that now?

WOLFGANG: Well they’d certainly have more of a reason to do it. And men in general should not be allowed into women’s bathrooms. At issue is the fact that you have an exception for sex but not for gender identity and expression if this bill passes and men can enter women’s bathrooms.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD: But my question to you is, what prevents them from doing it now? Your answer, while a response, doesn’t actually indicate what does that.

WOLFGANG: Well, I mean, you know, there are laws that prevent crimes, obviously, from taking place in bathrooms in general. But, I mean, why give sexual predators a pretext? Why give them an excuse to say,Look, I’m transgendered and that’s why I went into the women’s bathroom.” Obviously it’s – you know, there are laws for registered sex offenders.

REP. HOLDER-WINFIELD: And so those laws would actually exist if the crime was committed after entering the bathroom, even if this law passed – if this bill passed, is that not correct?