Massachusetts Poised to Become 18th State with Full Transgender Protections

By Claire Caldwell • July 7, 2016 • 5:35 pm

In an historic, bipartisan vote, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate just advanced transgender non-discrimination out of the legislature, sending it to the governor for his signature.

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This landmark vote comes just twenty four hours after a final version of the bill was released from conference committee.

Governor Baker could sign the final iteration of the bill (S2407) as soon as tomorrow.

If #TransBillMA becomes law, Massachusetts will be the 18th state to fully protect transgender people from discrimination in public places like restaurants, concert venues, shopping malls, doctors offices, and public transportation.

Non-discrimination protections on the basis of gender identity already exist under Massachusetts housing and employment laws.

Freedom Massachusetts is the in-state coalition leading the effort to pass #TransBillMA. As a founding member, we dedicated our chief program officer and director of the Transgender Freedom Project, Kasey Suffredini, to chair the Massachusetts campaign.

In a statement today, Kasey said full protections for transgender Bay Staters is ten years in the making: “It has been nearly a decade since this legislation was first introduced on Beacon Hill, and like many people, the governor has been on a journey towards understanding transgender people and the challenges we experience. Transgender people have done the courageous work being visible, sharing our personal stories, and educating our families, friends, coworkers and communities. We are hopeful that the Governor has listened, and that he will sign this bill as soon as possible.”

Governor Baker has ten days to take action on the legislation. The only way that transgender non-discrimination fails, is if Gov. Baker vetoes it. Once law, the protections would go into effect starting October 1st—three months sooner than past bill drafts allowed.

To learn more about our work to elevate the experiences of transgender Americans and the fight for transgender non-discrimination nationwide, click here.


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