The Massachusetts House approved An Act Relative to Transgender Equality late Tuesday night on a vote of 95-58 after Democrats limited debate to one hour, thereby stifling republican proposed amendments intended to water down the already watered-down bill, which does not include protections from discrimination in public accommodations. No lunch counters for us.
The intent, of course, was to keep us out of bathrooms and locker rooms.
The Senate approved the bill on Wednesday on a voice vote. Wednesday was the last day of the legislative session.
Governor Duval Patrick signed the bill today, according to one source. Massachusetts becomes the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to protect transpeople from discrimination and leaves New Hampshire as the only New England state without protections for transpeople.
What’s up in New York, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania? We’re waiting. And in some cases, we’re dying.
The Massachusetts Legislature today recognized that transgender residents should be treated equally and protected under the law. The Transgender Equal Rights Bill has languished for years, but today the Legislature sent a clear message of fairness and equality.
—Joe Solomonese, Human Rights Campaign
The bill provides protections from discrimination in employment, housing, education and employment and also adds gender identity and expression to the Massachusetts hate crimes bill.