It’s Official: Massachusetts is the 18th State With Full LGBT Non-Discrimination ProtectionsBy Adam Polaski • September 30, 2016 • 5:32 pm
On October 1, for the first time in the history of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, transgender people are fully equal under Massachusetts’ state law. A law updating Massachusetts law to ensure explicit protections for transgender people in public places – including parks, restaurants, hospitals, and public restrooms – takes effect tomorrow. Transgender people have been protected from housing and employment discrimination under state law since 2011.
#TransBillMA goes into effect on Saturday — becoming #TransLawMA and guaranteeing transgender Bay Staters are now protected from discrimination in public places like restaurants, public transportation, doctors offices, and government buildings.
For Mason Dunn, campaign co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, the campaign to pass #TransBillMA, protections in public accommodations is personal: “For me, as a transgender man living and working in Massachusetts every day, this law has a deeply personal impact on me and my loved ones,” he said. “For the first time in the history of our Commonwealth, I can leave my house knowing that I will be treated equally, without fear of discrimination.”
The implementation of this law is the culmination of a decade-long fight that united lead businesses, New England’s championship sports teams, hundreds of faith leaders across diverse traditions, iconic universities, and an unprecedented grassroots movement—all singularly committed to making Massachusetts a fairer and more equal place to live, work, and do business.
Freedom for All Americans is a founding partner of Freedom Massachusetts and has dedicated our staff member Kasey Suffredini as a chair to the campaign for the past 18 months. Under Suffredini’s strategy and leadership, Freedom Massachusetts has recruited and secured endorsements from more than 250 businesses, more than 350 clergy and congregations, 11 labor unions representing more than 750,000 families, 16 statewide women’s and victim’s advocacy groups, every major professional sports team in New England, the state’s leading law enforcement associations, the entire MA congressional delegation, the state attorney general, bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, public endorsements from both the Senate President and the House Speaker, and more.
We thank our state and national partner organizations who are working with us throughFreedom Massachusetts – including the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, MassEquality, the American Civil Liberties Union, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, the Massachusetts Commission on LGBTQ Youth, the Anti-Defamation League, PFLAG of Greater Boston, and the Human Rights Campaign.
Transgender people across Massachusetts, who were at the forefront of the fight for their equal protections, are celebrating today. A 2014 report found that 65% of surveyed transgender people reported experiencing discrimination at a business or other public place. For these brave and resilient residents—who shared their stories countless times even when it meant risking harassment and discrimination—#TransLawMA means they are freer, safer, and more equal.