Yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), America’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organisation hailed the Massachusetts House of Representative‘s vote extending common sense non-discrimination protections to the state’s transgender residents and visitors. While Massachusetts state law already prohibits anti-transgender discrimination in housing and employment, the new legislation will extend the same crucial protections to public accommodations.
The bill now goes to conference committee where it will be reconciled with the version the Senate passed in early May, and will then head to the desk of Republican Governor Charlie Baker who according to reports has spoken positively of the legislation.
“We commend the House for advancing protections for transgender people, and urge Governor Baker to join the growing list of fair-minded Republicans standing up for fairness and equality,” said JoDee Winterhof, HRC Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs. “Transgender people in Massachusetts, and around the country, deserve full equality under the law — including the same protections in public places afforded to other groups. Despite the lies being peddled by anti-equality activists, there’s been absolutely no increase in public safety risks from providing these anti-discrimination protections, many of which have been on the books for decades. We hope Governor Baker will affirm the dignity of all Bay State residents by signing the bill into law when it reaches his desk.”
If Baker signs the bill, Massachusetts will join 18 other states and more than 100 cities that have explicit non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, housing and employment.
The bill has overwhelming support throughout the state and the region. All New England professional sports teams and Massachusetts education groups have endorsed it, along with U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Attorney General Maura Healey, and the Boston Globe’s editorial board.