Maura Healey, the nation’s first openly gay attorney general, spoke out in support of legislation that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in public accommodations in the Bay State.
“This is a matter of civil rights,” Healey told CBS Boston. “We’re bringing folks together today to talk about their experiences, and to help provide more information for the public about why this bill is so important.”
Healey will hold an event today for families of transgender youth to urge legislators to take action. Additionally, according to the Boston Globe, education groups including the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, and two large teachers unions -- the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers Massachusetts – announced their support for similar legislation.
HRC is a proud member of Freedom Massachusetts, a joint effort of state and national organizations, including Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, MassEquality, the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom for All Americans, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, BAGLY, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, the Anti-Defamation League and PFLAG. Freedom Massachusetts is working to pass HB 1577 and SB 735, two bills in the Massachusetts House and Senate that would protect transgender people from discrimination in public spaces.
Currently there is no state law in Massachusetts explicitly prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression in public accommodations. Seventeen states have now surpassed Massachusetts to pass these much-needed non-discrimination protections.
“Many other states have already taken care of that and have in place non-discrimination laws that protect transgender people from being discriminated against in those settings,” Healey continued. “We don’t have that yet in Massachusetts. We need to right that wrong.”
Photo c/o Wikimedia Commons, Edahlpr