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Blog Posts for Connecticut

April 8, 2013 4:08 pm

DOMA and Taxes: Filing Now and Preserving Your Rights

If DOMA is overturned and you are in the process of appealing a previous tax return, you may be eligible to receive a refund on the extra taxes you paid. The IRS allows you to file amended income tax returns up to three years after the original return was filed. For example, in most cases you can still file an amended return for the 2009 tax year provided the IRS receives it before this April’s filing deadline. Read on for more information from our Legal InfoLine Manager, Bruce Bell.

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January 15, 2013 11:39 am

Know Your Rights: Transgender Rights in New England

We’ve come a good way towards establishing legal protections for transgender people in New England in the past several years. In 2011, both Connecticut and Massachusetts added gender identity to their anti-discrimination laws, joining Rhode Island (2001), Maine (2005) and Vermont (2007) in providing protections in employment, housing and credit, and, in all but Massachusetts, public accommodations (like restaurants, bars, parks, stores, hospitals, shelters, etc.). But there is still work to do.

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January 8, 2013 12:34 pm

Know Your Rights: Protections Against Employment Discrimination

One of the great things about living in New England is that all six states offer anti-discrimination protections for LGBT employees and workers who are living with HIV.  Most workers are “employees at will” and can be fired or discriminated against by their employer for any reason or no reason at all.  However, states have identified “protected characteristics” and made it illegal to fire or discriminate against an employee just because they possess, or are perceived to possess, one or more of those characteristics.  For lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) workers, the protected characteristic is “sexual orientation,” for workers living with HIV, “disability,” and for transgender workers, “gender identity.”

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October 28, 2011 11:04 am

Discrimination on the basis of HIV status persists

GLAD recently provided assistance to a man charged with a serious crime—who spent over a month in jail as a result—simply because he is HIV-positive. Since then, I have been thinking about the necessity of education, particularly when it aims to dispel wholly unfounded beliefs.

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September 12, 2011 9:33 am

The Definition Of “Gender Identity Or Expression” in CT Non-Discrimination Law

In a guest post at Pam’s House Blend, GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Director Jennifer L. Levi dispels concerns about the definition of “gender identity or expression” included in Connecticut’s new anti-discrimination law.

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September 8, 2011 1:30 pm

When Love Doesn’t Make a Family

This week, GLAD, the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and NCLR’s National Family Law Advisory Council released a revised version of Protecting Families: Standards for LGBT Families, a set of 10 guidelines aimed at reminding LGBT people how important it is to legally protect the families they create and to caution parents against wielding anti-LGBT laws against their partner should their relationship break-up. Basically, we’re calling on the members of our community—and their lawyers—to fight fairly and to do their best to avoid damaging custody disputes. As GLAD’s Mary Bonauto writes in her introduction to the standards, “We believe that, even in the midst of the emotional upheaval that inevitably accompanies the end of the adult relationship, families can do a great deal to resolve their differences in a manner that puts their children first.”

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June 6, 2011 12:20 pm

A Fortuitous Friday-night Phone Call Brings a Front-row Seat for CT’s Long-awaited Victory

I could hardly believe that the moment for which I’d waited nearly six years had arrived. H.B. 6599, Connecticut’s transgender civil rights bill, had passed the House of Representatives nearly two weeks ago and I’d been waiting impatiently for it to be run in the Senate. But each time I e-mailed Betty Gallo, our staunch lobbyist who’s been tirelessly working this bill for years, there was little to report. I sent her a short e-mail earlier in the day asking, “Any info on timing?” She quickly replied, “No.” Honestly, I wasn’t even thinking about the bill when I left work that afternoon for my son’s baseball game. But when the call came from Jerimarie Liesegang, head of the Connecticut Transgender Advocacy Coalition (also a visionary, tireless and devoted advocate), I knew I needed to get there quickly.

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March 24, 2011 2:12 pm

My Afternoon on the Hot Seat, and Other Adventures in Transgender Advocacy

On Monday, I testified before the Connecticut Legislature’s Judiciary Committee in favor H.B. 6599, “An Act Concerning Discrimination,” which would add the phrase gender identity and expression in Connecticut’s non-discrimination laws. My prepared testimony was just about two minutes, but I spent the next hour on the hot seat, fielding questions from committee members about the bill and how, when adopted as law, it would be enforced. That is as it should be. It’s important to let those who are just learning about transgender people’s lives ask of all their questions and have them answered in a reasoned, thoughtful way.

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March 23, 2011 6:01 pm

It’s Tax Time: Good News/Bad News

It’s everyone’s favorite time of year.  At least there is some good news for transgender tax payers this year.  But still the same bad news for married same sex couples.

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March 3, 2011 11:54 am

Know Your Rights: What is ‘heightened scrutiny’ and why is it important?

Courts have found that laws that discriminate against certain groups of people are more likely to reflect prejudice against that group than they are good public policy. Rather than being assumed to be constitutional, such laws need to be justified with exceptionally good reasons. This is called “heightened scrutiny” and has, for example, been used in cases where a racial group is being discriminated against.  GLAD has consistently argued in the courts that sexual orientation deserves “heightened scrutiny.”  So it was an enormous breakthrough last week when the President and the Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed with GLAD on that point- and because of that also agreed that DOMA is unconstitutional.

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