Gov. Lamont Signed Three Laws Supporting LGBTQ Community
July 9, 2019
This year’s legislative session was one of the most successful for the LGBTQ community in Connecticut, state Rep. Jeff Currey said Tuesday at a ceremonial bill signing for three provisions he helped champion.
HIV prevention for LGBTQ minors
Sexually active minors could not access HIV prevention medication without parental consent in Connecticut.
Advocates worked on the legislation for four years, but testimony from New Haven resident Sam Smith, 21, to the public health committee in February “turned the tide on this legislation,” Currey said.
Smith knew about the daily pill called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, when he was in high school but did not feel comfortable telling his parents he was gay. He was diagnosed with HIV shortly before graduating high school in May 2016.
One in every five new HIV infections nationwide occur in young people between 13 and 24 years of age, and gay and bisexual males receive 80 percent of those diagnoses, said Krystn Wagner, an HIV physician at the Fair Haven Community Health Center in New Haven. Wagner worked on the legislation with Jay Sicklick and Alice Rosenthal, both attorneys for the Medical-Legal Partnership Project at the Center for Children’s Advocacy.
“At the heart of this bill being signed today by Gov. Lamont are the needs of LGBTQ teens who are unable or not yet ready to come forward to their parents or guardians to disclose their status,” Wagner said.