The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)
Group says ‘gender attraction’ bill protects pedophiles. Legislators say it’s wrong.
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.”