Trans rights take two steps forward in courts

The trans community has endured many frightening setbacks in the past few years, so it’s heartening to see active steps toward protecting and respecting trans people here in our state.

We applaud our Attorney General William Tong, who joined Attorneys General from 20 other states in opposing an Indiana law preventing transgender youth from accessing life-saving care. We share his outrage at this legislation and the growing nationwide trend of attacks on our community. We need advocates like Attorney General Tong to stand up for our community.

Another important win for our community is the ACLU of Connecticut’s resounding victory on behalf of Ms. Veronica-May Clark, a transgender woman who has been denied gender-affirming care by the Connecticut Department of Corrections (DOC). The decision is forceful in its affirmation of transgender rights and the humanity of transgender people.

As ACLU Staff Attorney Elana Bildner said, “Incarcerated people are people, trans people are people, and every person deserves access to the healthcare they need. This case is a stark reminder of the pitiful lack of basic healthcare in our state’s prisons – as well as the lengths the system will go to defend itself – but it is also a testament to Ms. Clark’s courage. Today’s ruling is a victory for Ms. Clark, incarcerated people, and trans people everywhere.”

We extend congratulations to Ms. Clark and the ACLU for their victory. Now, it’s critical that the State of Connecticut respects Judge Vanessa Bryant’s decision and ensures Ms. Clark gets the care she needs as soon as possible. Echoing our ACLU colleagues, this case clearly lays bare a larger systemic problem within Connecticut’s corrections system. Equality Connecticut was founded to ensure that every single LGBTQ+ person in our state is treated with dignity and equity including those who are formerly or currently incarcerated.

We look forward to working with Attorney General Tong, our partners in the Legislature, and the ACLU-CT in the next legislative session to ensure laws are in place so this never happens again in our state.