AG Tong says many CT workers do not have to worry about losing LGBT protections

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LGBTQ rights may be up for debate in Washington Tuesday, but in Hartford those protections were locked down years ago.

State Attorney General William Tong held a roundtable on the issue Tuesday. He says even if the Supreme Court rolls back federal job protections, most workers in Connecticut do not have anything to worry about, because gay, lesbian and transgender protections are locked into state law.

"We're fine in Connecticut, but what happens is, if they cut off these protections at the federal level, that cuts off a really important and powerful enforcement tool," says Tong.

In 1991, Connecticut became on of the first states to ban employers from firing employees because they are gay. The law was later extended to transgender employees.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers strengthened laws, including getting rid of the so-called "gay panic defense" in criminal trials.

But even though Connecticut's laws are strong, anyone working for a company based out of state may be denied discrimination protection in federal court.

It could be several months before the Supreme Court issues any rulings. During several arguments Tuesday, justices appeared divided over whether employment discrimination protections extend to LGBT workers.

 

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