Governor Deval Patrick signs transgender protection billBreaking News Friday, November 25th, 2011
Transgender men and women will be an officially protected class in Massachusetts now that Governor Deval Patrick signed an important equal rights bill Wednesday.
The newly-enacted legislation will forbid any discrimination based on gender identity. The law will also extend criminal prosecution statues to include hate crimes and acts of violence against transgender men and women.
“No individual should face discrimination because of who they are,” Patrick said in a statement. “This legislation gives Massachusetts the necessary tools to stop hate crimes against transgender people and to treat others fairly. I am proud to sign it.”
LGBT allies and activists praised the state for introducing the necessary provision into law.
“Gov. Patrick was a staunch advocate of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill from the earliest days of his administration,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), in a statement to LGBTQ Nation.
Scott added: “We are so grateful for his leadership in getting this bill passed and for his unwavering commitment to ensuring that all residents of the Commonwealth, including transgender people, are treated with dignity and respect under the laws of our state.”
The bill will take effect next July. Massachusetts joins 15 other states in protecting transgender rights.
Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=17908