Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has yet to take a stand on HB 1577 and SB 735, two bills in the Massachusetts House and Senate that would protect transgender people from discrimination in public spaces.
“Baker is surrounded by people who see the need for this bill,” The Boston Globe explained. “Senate President Stan Rosenberg backs it. House Speaker Bob DeLeo is sending supportive signals. Harvard Pilgrim, which Baker once led, and Harvard College, his alma mater, are behind it. As is his pastor, Dennis Calhoun, of Old North Church in Marblehead.”
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 vital non-discrimination protections.
“If he came out in favor of expanding transgender rights, it would send a powerful signal, and give fearful legislators cover. More important, it would make it clear that transgender men and women are worth as much as any other citizen of the Commonwealth,” The Boston Globe concluded. “Baker must lead.”
HRC is a proud member of Freedom Massachusetts, a coalition dedicated to passing legislation this year to update Massachusetts’ non-discrimination law. Freedom Massachusetts is a joint effort of state and national organizations, including Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, MassEquality, the American Civil Liberties Union, Freedom for All Americans, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, BAGLY, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, the Anti-Defamation League and PFLAG.
Several Massachusetts’s municipal leaders have already announced their support.
HRC urges Governor Baker to support these important pieces of non-discrimination legislation.