HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Governor Ned Lamont signed several bills on Tuesday, supporting the LGBTQ community.
The bills will help young people get education on prevention and stop defendants on trial from using what's called a gay and transgender panic defense.
Connecticut has now joined a few states that say it's illegal for defendants to use the panic defense.
The other bills help young people who may be afraid to talk to their parents.
"This year, we had one of the most successful LGBT plus legislative sessions in Connecticut's history," said Rep. Jeff Currey.
A victory for the LGBTQ community.
State lawmaker Jeff Currey pushed for legislation to help protect people's health and rights.
"We are going to continue to be a leader in LGBTQ rights and respect and pride," Lamont said.
Lamont signed three bills on Tuesday afternoon.
Those on trial are now banned from using what's called the gay and transgender defense. One of the most high-profile cases was the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was beaten to death.
The defense by the two Wyoming men was that they panicked because Sheppard was gay.
The legislation also makes it easier for young people to get medication and treatment because they now longer have to get permission from their parents.
"I had known about the medication just because I researched it individually, but it's discouraging to not be able to get it without telling your parents. Especially when you don't want to have that conversation," said Sam.
While some school districts offer more extensive education on sexually transmitted diseases, other schools don't. The legislation establishes a health and human services network to help schools help students.
"LGBTQ youth are afraid to come out to families, either because of fear of rejection or just other negative consequences. We wanted to empower them with the option to protect their own health," said Krystn Wagner, HIV Doctor, New Haven.
Advocates say the country is seeing a spike in HIV cases in minority communities.
They're hoping this legislation will encourage more people to get the help they need.