[The following column, compiled by Natalie Nonken, appears in the Sept./Oct. 2017 issue of Boston Spirit magazine. Subscribe for free today.]
Governor signs executive order aimed to block Trump’s trans military ban
On July 26, Governor Dannel Malloy signed an executive order that reinforces the state’s nondiscrimination rules in the Connecticut Military Department.
The order comes in response to Trump’s announcement that transgender citizens would be banned from serving in the U.S. military. The governor’s order instructs Connecticut military organizations—including the Connecticut National Guard and Connecticut Air National Guard—“to take no action that discriminates against service members in enlistment, promotion or any other aspect of their service, on the basis of their gender identity or expression, unless superseded by federal law, regulation, or formal directive from the U.S. Department of Defense,” according to a statement from Malloy’s office.
“I never thought I would have to sign an executive order to answer a tweet or a twit,” Malloy told reporters, following a ceremony at the Bradley Air National Guard Base in East Granby. “That he chose this day to dishonor the service of Americans the way he did is quite frightening.”
“I want a very clear message to go out to our Connecticut service-people that we stand with them,” he said.
State commission sides against discriminatory group
The Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ruled that the state’s Comptroller Kevin Lembo was correct in removing the American Family Association from the state’s Employee Charitable Campaign.
The AFA, the commission found, had violated the state’s antidiscrimination laws.
In its ruling, the commission stated that the AFA’s “non-discrimination policy is itself discriminatory under Connecticut law because it doesn’t include sexual orientation and gender identity and because it could be discriminatory against those whose religion does not conform to the AFA statement of faith.”
In a July 20 press release, Lembo stated, “The American Family Association has the constitutional right to make discriminatory statements—however, it does not have a constitutional right to participate in the Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign for Charitable Giving, particularly if it violates state and federal anti-discrimination laws and regulations.”
Gay and Lesbian Chamber hosts tenth anniversary gala
On August 26, the Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber hosted its 10th Anniversary Gala at the Riverfront Boathouse in Hartford. The gala raised funds to support the CABO foundation, and included food, drinks, a “Dancing with the Local Stars” competition and a silent auction.
The mission of the Connecticut Gay and Lesbian Chamber is to “create and enhance opportunities within LGBT and allied organizations to promote an inclusive and the thriving business community.”
OutCT hosts Pride Week and New London Pride Festival
Also on August 26, OutCT hosted the New London Pride Festival at Ocean Beach Park.
The afternoon included food, entertainment, music, drag shows, and more. During the week leading up to the festival, OutCT partnered with local businesses to provide events including a short film program, a book signing with J. G. Hayes of South Boston, Pride Paint Night, ice-cream specials at Berry’s Ice Cream and Candy Bar, a WNBA game, a worship service, and a cookout.
OutCT’s mission is to build “a community through educational, cultural and social programming that promotes acceptance, tolerance and understanding of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”