sHB 7133


SUMMARY:    This   bill  prohibits  certain  kinds   of
discrimination against  people  because of their sexual
orientation,   which the bill defines as  heterosexual,
homosexual,  or bisexual  preference.  The bill imposes
the same duties, requirements,  enforcement mechanisms,
and penalties as  currently  apply  to other classes of
people who have anti-discrimination protection.

The  bill  prohibits,    under   specified  conditions,
discrimination  in  employment,   housing,   places  of
public  accommodation   (e.g.,   stores,   banks,   and
restaurants),  granting of state contracts or benefits,
extension of  credit,   issuance  of  state licenses or
charters,  admission to state job programs (vocational,
on-the-job training, apprenticeship,  educational,  and
counseling),  provision of state services,  employment-
related activities for  state employees, and conveyance
of job requests to state agencies.  State agencies must
include  in  their  annual   report   to  the  governor
activities  they  have undertaken to  carry  out  their
anti-discrimination   activities.   The  bill prohibits
professional   associations  and  organizations   whose
members are licensed  by  the  state, and people having
contracts  with the state,  from discriminating on  the
basis of sexual orientation.

The  bill  makes it a crime to deprive  anyone  of  his
rights,  privileges, or  immunities under the state and
federal  constitutions  and laws on account  of  sexual
orientation.  Violation of  this provision is a class A
misdemeanor  punishable  by imprisonment for up to  one
year,  a fine  of  up  to  $1,000, or  both.   The bill
includes  specific  penalties  for  discrimination   in
housing and public  accommodations (imprisonment for up
to  30  days,   a fine of $25 to $100,   or  both)  and
discrimination  by   professional   associations  whose
members  are  licensed by the state (a fine of $100  to

The  bill specifies that it does not authorize the  use
of  numerical  goals  or   quotas  or  other  types  of
affirmative  action programs to enforce its  provisions
and does not authorize the  promotion  of homosexuality
or bisexuality in educational institutions.

The bill also allows the commissioner of the Department
of Children  and  Youth  Services  or  a  child placing
agency   to   consider  the   sexual   orientation   of
prospective  adoptive  parents  when placing a child in

The bill contains a statement  that its provisions: (1)
do  not mean that the state condones  homosexuality  or
bisexuality and  (2)  do  not  authorize  the  right of
marriage between people of the same sex.  Finally,  the
bill   exempts   religious   organizations   from   its
employment discrimination provisions.

EFFECTIVE DATE:  October 1, 1991



The bill defines "sexual orientation" as a  preference,
or history of a preference, or  being identified with a
preference,   for heterosexuality,  homosexuality,   or
bisexuality.   It   specifically   excludes  from  this
definition  any behavior that is a violation under  the
sexual offenses portion of the penal code.

The   bill   does   not    define    "heterosexuality,"
"homosexuality,"  or "bisexuality." A general  rule  of
statutory  interpretation  is  that  unless  there is a
specific  statutory definition to the contrary,   words
are to be  given  their  commonly  understood  meaning.
Webster's  New Universal Unabridged Dictionary  defines
these terms as follows:

    1.   Heterosexuality  is  a sexual desire  for,  or
         relations between, individuals of the opposite

    2.   Homosexuality  is  a  sexual  desire  for,  or
         relations  between,   individuals of the  same

    3.   Bisexuality   is  sexual  attraction  to  both

Employment Discrimination

The   bill   prohibits    the    following   kinds   of
employment-related   discrimination  based  on   sexual

    1.   refusing    to    hire,     discharging,    or
         discriminating against someone in compensation
         or   terms,   conditions,   or  privileges  of
         employment    unless   there   is a    genuine
         occupational qualification;

    2.   aiding,  abetting,  inciting,  compelling,  or
         coercing  anyone  to  commit a  discriminatory
         employment practice, or attempting to do so;

    3.   employers,   employment   agencies,   or labor
         organizations  taking adverse  action  against
         someone because  he  opposed  a discriminatory
         employment  practice, brought a complaint,  or
         testified  or   assisted   someone  else  in a

    4.   employers,   employment  agencies,  or   labor
         organizations    advertising   an   employment
         opportunity  in  such  a way  as  to  restrict
         employment and thus discriminate;

    5.   employment  agencies   refusing   to  properly
         classify or refer for employment; and

    6.   discriminating    against,    excluding,    or
         expelling someone from  membership  in a labor

The bill  exempts  religious  organizations  from these
employment  provisions but only as to their  employment
of people to carry out their work.

Housing Discrimination

The  bill  prohibits  housing discrimination  based  on
sexual   orientation    and    establishes   the   same
anti-housing  discrimination provisions as were created
last year for  other  protected  classes.   It  makes a
specific  list  of  actions  discriminatory  practices,
including: (1) refusing  to  negotiate  or sell or rent
after  a legitimate offer; (2) discriminating in  terms
or conditions of  a  sale,   rental,   or  provision of
services;   (3) denying access to real estate  multiple
listing services; (4)  placing housing ads indicating a
discriminatory  preference;  and (5) discriminating  in
mortgages,   home  improvement  loans,  and real estate

Violation  of the housing discrimination provisions  is
punishable  by  a  fine   of   between  $25  and  $100,
imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both.

The  housing discrimination provisions do not apply  to
the rental of apartments in homes  for four families or
fewer  if  the owner lives in one of the units,  or  to
room rentals if the owner lives in the unit.

Public Accommodation Discrimination

The bill prohibits  using  sexual  orientation  as  the
basis for discriminating, segregating, or separating in
places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement or
denying   access   to  such   accommodations.    Public
accommodation  is  defined  as  any  establishment that
caters  or offers its services, facilities, or goods to
the general public.

CHRO Enforcement

Anyone who believes he has  been  discriminated against
can  file  a  complaint with the  Commission  on  Human
Rights and  Opportunities  (CHRO),  which  has the same
enforcement powers and duties that it currently has for
other protected categories  of  people.  The commission
must  investigate  the complaint and hold a hearing  if
the practice  is  not  eliminated.   If  it  finds that
discrimination  has occurred,  it can order that it  be
stopped and require the  offender to pay damages to the
complainant.    The  commission's  decisions   can   be
appealed to Superior Court,  which can also enforce the
commission's orders.


1990 Fair Housing Legislation

The 1990 legislature  created  a  separate fair housing
law (PA 90-246) and made it substantially equivalent to
the Federal Fair Housing  Act.   In  addition to CHRO's
enforcement  responsibilities, the law allows a  person
to  go  to  court  to   enforce   its  provisions.   It
specifically  prohibits steering,   blockbusting,   and
other forms of  housing  discrimination  and  increases
from  $3,000  to  $50,000 the maximum  damages  that  a
person who is  discriminated  against  can receive from
the court.  It also allows the court to impose a  civil
fine of up to $50,000.


Judiciary Committee

    Joint Favorable Substitute
    Yea  20   Nay  12