Transgender Equal Rights bill passes in MassachusettsAround the Nation, This Week Friday, November 25th, 2011
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature has passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill. The bill adds protections to the state’s civil rights laws against discrimination in employment, housing, education and credit based on gender identity or expression and adds gender identity and expression to the state’s hate crimes law. The bill now moves to the governor’s office. Gov. Deval Patrick, who has been a leader in the fight for transgender protections, is expected to sign the bill.
While the Transgender Equal Rights Bill prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, education and credit, protections in public accommodations were stripped from the final version of the bill.
In this session of the Massachusetts Legislature, the Human Rights Campaign worked to build both public and legislative support for this legislation. HRC launched ten action alerts to members and supporters in Massachusetts, generating thousands of contacts to lawmakers in favor of the bill. In addition, HRC President Joe Solmonese submitted testimony in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary urging swift passage of the bill.
“The Massachusetts Legislature today recognized that transgender residents should be treated equally and protected under the law,” said Solmonese. “The Transgender Equal Rights bill has languished for years, but today the Legislature sent a clear message of fairness and equality.”
When this bill is signed into law, Massachusetts will become the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression.
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