Veterans' Affairs Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-21

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE MILITARY DEPARTMENT'S NONDISCRIMINATION LAWS.

Vote Date:

3/3/2016

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/23/2016

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Senator Martin Looney, 11th District

Senator Bob Duff, 25th District

Representative Brendan Sharkey, 88th District

Representative Joe Aresimowicz, 30th District

Representative Kim Rose, 118th District

REASONS FOR BILL:

The reason for this bill is to update Connecticut's statutes in regard discrimination that is prohibited for membership in the armed forces of the state. This will ensure that it is compliant with federal law along with the rules and regulations of the United States Armed Forces, such as including a person's religion, national origin, color, race, sex, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Major General Thaddeus Martin the Adjutant General of the Connecticut Military Department Testified that this bill will revise Section 27-59 of the general statues to prevent any person serving in the armed forces in the State of Connecticut from being discriminated based on their race, religion, national origin, skin color, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Military Department supports this bill.

Michael Roberts, an attorney at the Commission on Human Rights Testified that this bill will prevent discrimination within the Military Department based on religion, national origin, color, race, sex, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation. This bill comes shortly after the Department of Defense announced in December that it would open all combat roles to women. While the bill does not include age or any other forms of possible discrimination the Commission on Human Rights does support this bill. The Commission also ask the legislature to consider including age, mental, intellectual, learning, and physical disabilities to this bill as a protected class.

The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women Testified that this bill inserts the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities anti-discrimination guidelines for the Military Department in the state statues and they fully support this bill.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

None Expressed

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None Expressed

Reported by: Keith Durao, Assistant Clerk

Date: March 17, 2016