Equality Federation congratulates Massachusetts on the passage of a proactive, transgender-specific public accommodations bill. This bill updates Massachusetts state law to ensure explicit protections for transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, hospitals, parks, and public restrooms. We celebrate this powerful victory, which comes after over a decade of public education and dialogue in the state.
We applaud Freedom Massachusetts, MassEquality, and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) who have spent years building infrastructure and education on the ground in their home state.
“Today I’m proud to be a Bay Stater,” said Fran Hutchins, Director of Organizational Development for the Equality Federation and Easthampton, MA resident. “As a long-time advocate for equality, I’m thrilled that my state now joins 17 others in protecting transgender people from discrimination in public spaces. As a parent to a transgender young adult, I am thankful that my home state feels a little more like home for my whole family.”
“We are thankful to Speaker DeLeo, Chairman Fernandes, Representative Rushing, and Representative Provost for their unwavering commitment to moving this bill forward and working diligently over the past months to be sure legislators did the right thing,” said Mason Dunn, co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts. “We are also thankful for all the legislators — Democrat and Republican — who voted in favor of the bill.”
The multi-tiered campaign in Massachusetts demonstrates the winning power of a strategic public education campaign and building bipartisan support. This includes winning Republican support in the House and Senate, as well as moving a Republican governor, Governor Charlie Baker, from a place of vehement opposition to a place of support. Like many Americans, Governor Baker has come to understand that, as some of our most vulnerable community members, transgender people deserve to be protected in all spaces.
The bill in Massachusetts was the only proactive transgender-specific protections bill before any legislature in the country this session. With this bill’s passage, Massachusetts has become a leader for states across the country in protecting transgender people.
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