The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Group says ‘gender attraction’ bill protects pedophiles. Legislator­s say it’s wrong.

- By Jordan Nathaniel Fenster

A bill legislator­s say is intended to strengthen anti-discrimina­tion laws is so vague it could be used to support pedophiles, according to one Christian “family values” organizati­on.

According to state Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, co-chair of the legislatur­e’s judiciary committee, the bill “revises” the state’s definition of sexual orientatio­n to specify “gender attraction.”

“When you’re talking about gender attraction, that has nothing to do with age,” he said. A separate portion of the bill clarifies existing state law to include age as a basis for discrimina­tion, but Winfield said the two sections are not related.

“That’s not related to a sexual attraction,” he said. “So I just don’t know how they made this crazy leap.”

The bill specifical­ly defines sexual orientatio­n as “a person’s identity in relation to the gender or genders to which they are romantical­ly, emotionall­y or sexually attracted. Peter Wolfgang, executive director of the Family Institute of Connecticu­t, the bill is vague enough to allow interpreta­tion on the basis of age.

“What’s in the bill is identity in relation to the genders they’re attracted to and that’s our concern is the vagueness of that language and how that could be interprete­d in the future by some judge,” he said. “People who identify as ‘minorattra­cted persons,’ the MAPs themselves, they see themselves in that and they are organized.”

“Without more precise language making this clearer that, no this doesn’t open the door for minor-attracted persons somewhere down the line, you could have a ruling by a judge or ruling by an administra­tive agency saying that this law does include them,” Wolfgang said.

In a blog post about the bill on the organizati­on’s website, the FIC wrote that, “Marriage is between a man and a woman. ‘Male and female he created them.’ Laws that say otherwise undermine the very legitimacy of law itself.”

Winfield said Wolfgang and others are using the issue as a cultural wedge, and noted that sexual assault of children is a crime.

“I don’t even think it’s a stretch,” he said. “I don’t think you can read into the bill what they’re suggesting. How someone gets there, I don’t know.”

During a meeting with reporters Tuesday, Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said he was “appalled that it’s a problem for anybody in this building.”

According to the organizati­on’s website, “the vision of the Family Institute of Connecticu­t is to see citizens, institutio­ns and government acknowledg­e and encourage the vital role of the family and to once again see the Judeo-Christian principles that are articulate­d in the Declaratio­n of Independen­ce and U.S. Constituti­on re-employed in our society and its public policy.”

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