October 12th, 2011 | City

Aldermanic committee OKs anti-discrimination ordinance

Change may be coming to New Haven.

The Board of Alderman’s legislation committee held a hearing Tuesday night to discuss proposed changes to the city’s Equal Opportunity Ordinances. The revised ordinance would include language prohibiting discrimination based on gender identification or expression. After an hour of testimony by University and city LGBTQ supporters, the committee voted unanimously to pass the ordinance onto the full Board of Alderman, one of two steps needed for the bill to become law.

“I’m overjoyed that the six aldermen on the legislation committee unanimously voted tonight to include full and explicit protections for transgender and gender non-conforming people in New Haven’s civil rights laws,” said Amalia Skilton, Fierce Advocates coordinator and LGBTQ co-op board member. “This vote sends an important signal to people across the state that New Haven is a welcoming and affirming place for people of all genders.”

The proposal, an effort spearheaded by Aldermen Mike Jones ’11, Matt Smith ’98 and Justin Elicker FES ’10 SOM ’10, follows a recent state law that explicitly bans discrimination on the same items by clarifying an existing decision of the Connecticut Commission on Humans Rights and Opportunities and comes on National Coming Out Day.