On Wednesday (April 28), Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill that eliminates the state's religious exemption for childhood vaccines. The new law applies to everybody who attends public and private schools, colleges, and daycare and child care centers.
The law keeps the medical exemption in place and grandfathers any students who have already been granted a religious exemption.
"This is an issue that I have spent a lot of time researching and discussing with medical experts, and it is something that I take very seriously, knowing the public health impact that it has on our children, families, and communities," Lamont said in a statement.
"Proud to sign this bill into law to protect as many of our school children as possible from infectious diseases as we can," Lamont added in a tweet.
As Lamont signed the bill, about 2,000 protesters gathered outside the statehouse in Hartford. Opponents of the new law are planning to file a federal lawsuit, claiming it is unconstitutional to force people to vaccinate their children against their religious beliefs.
"The notion that somehow the state government gets the right to cram its version of virtue down the throats of every citizen in this state is and ought to be offensive to every Connecticut resident," Norm Pattis, an attorney who is representing two organizations behind the lawsuit, said, according to Fox News.
Connecticut is the sixth state to eliminate its religious exemption for vaccines, joining California, New York, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Maine.
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