Freedom for All Americans Staffer to Testify on Massachusetts Transgender Non-Discrimination BillBy Adam Polaski • October 6, 2015 • 11:21 am
Today, October 6, Freedom for All Americans will stand with families, business leaders, law enforcement officers, legislators, and professional organizations in submitting testimony to support S.B. 735 and H.B. 1577, “An Act Relative to Transgender Discrimination.” The legislation would update Massachusetts’ non-discrimination laws to explicitly include transgender people in existing laws prohibiting public accommodations discrimination.
This summer and fall, Freedom Massachusetts has been leading the charge to pass this legislation. Freedom for All Americans has been proud to serve as part of the executive committee of the campaign, providing support through communications outreach, digital strategy, lobbying, and staffing campaign leadership roles.
Freedom for All Americans’ chief program officer Kasey Suffredini will testify on behalf of Freedom for All Americans to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary today. Suffredini is a current campaign co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, the former executive director of MassEquality, and a transgender attorney with more than 17 years experience developing policy and leading state-based advocacy campaigns to win victories on a wide variety of LGBT and social justice issues. Suffredini said:
When Massachusetts became the first marriage equality state in 2004, it was the first time in my life I felt like the government had my back. After coming to terms with being transgender, I’m now asking Boston legislators to have my back again. SB 735 and HB 1577 would not only prohibit discrimination against me – it would also send a clear message that people like me are valued and welcome in our Commonwealth. It’s time for Massachusetts to be true to its values and pass this bill.
Massachusetts state law does not explicitly prevent transgender people from being denied services in places like parks, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, and even medical offices. It is one of the last states in the Northeast without transgender-inclusive protections. More than 150 businesses have already come out in support of the bill, including the Boston Chamber of Commerce, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Facebook, Twitter, and Eastern Bank. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Congressman Joe Kennedy III will also testify in support of the legislation today.
Freedom Massachusetts will be live tweeting the hearing, which begins at 1:00pm today in Boston, here, using the hashtag #TransBillMA.