Republican Governor in Massachusetts Will Vote to Preserve Transgender Protections in 2018

By Adam Polaski • October 21, 2016 • 11:00 am

This week, Massachusetts’ Republican Governor, Charlie Baker, told Boston Public Radio that he is committed to upholding transgender non-discrimination and will vote to defend #TransLawMA when it goes to the ballot in 2018. After hearing the stories of transgender Bay Staters, Gov. Baker endorsed the legislation and then signed it into law earlier this year.

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Kasey Suffredini, Freedom for All Americans Chief Program Officer and campaign chair of Freedom Massachusetts, the campaign to pass full transgender protections in Massachusetts, said this week:

“Governor Baker’s commitment to upholding the transgender protections law demonstrates that fairness and inclusion are not partisan values. When presented with the question of whether to continue to treat transgender people as equal members of the Commonwealth in 2018, Massachusetts will vote yes.”

#TransLawMA passed the legislature with bipartisan support—including from the governor—and endorsements from more than 250 businesses, 350 clergy and congregations, 11 labor unions representing 750,000 families, leading law enforcement organizations, dozens of women’s groups and advocates against violence and sexual assault, and all of New England’s championship sports teams.

The law officially went into effect October 1. But opponents of equality announced they had secured the minimal number of signatures—less than 1% of the state’s population—needed to qualify for the 2018 ballot and put transgender non-discrimination up for repeal.

Immediately, the campaign that won full transgender protections kicked into high gear, uniting transgender Bay Staters, faith leaders, and dozens of grassroots supporters at a community event to defend #TransLawMA from repeal. Since then, the campaign has officially filed to become a ballot committee and will continue to work around the clock from now until election day in 2018 to ensure #TransLawMA remains the law of the land.

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 through Freedom Massachusetts – including the Massachusetts Transgender Political CoalitionMassEquality, the American Civil Liberties UnionGay & 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.


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