The Boston Chamber of Commerce Joins League of Businesses in Support of Transgender-Inclusive Non-DiscriminationBy Claire Caldwell • September 15, 2015 • 1:47 pm
With public support from nearly 100 Massachusetts businesses, the Boston Chamber of Commerce became the latest to join the fray in backing legislation that would update the state’s public accommodations law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity.
The current law protects gay and transgender people from discrimination in hiring, firing and housing. This new legislation would strengthen the 2011 bill and prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public places like restaurants and stores – a right already protected for gay people in the state of Massachusetts.
In announcing the Boston Chamber of Commerce’s support for a fully transgender-inclusive non-discrimination law this Monday, President and CEO James E. Rooney said:
Fairness and equality are essential to good business in Massachusetts. As an association with a wide-range of business members, we can’t emphasize enough how vital it is to our state’s business climate and economy that we support inclusivity and provide clear legal protections for all.
Co-chair Mason Dunn of Freedom Massachusetts, which Freedom for All Americans helped found to build momentum behind the bill, thanked the Chamber of Commerce for their support, and called on legislators to vote in-line with business and a majority public opinion to pass full non-discrimination protections this year:
The support of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and these other organizations sends a clear message that discrimination in any form goes against the broader public interest. We’re deeply thankful for this groundswell of support and look forward to working with the Legislature and the Governor in passing this bill.
The growing coalition of support for full equality for transgender people shows a readiness on the part of businesses to ensure all employees feel safe and productive in their lives and work, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, one of 12 mayors from the state who endorse the legislation as a part of Freedom Massachusetts’ Mayors for Freedom coalition, said this about the bill:
Seventeen other states and 12 cities and towns right here in the Bay State have instituted legal protections like these and we know that these policies work. This is about making Massachusetts the best place possible to live and work. It’s time to amend our state’s civil rights law to include clear legal protections for transgender people.