TODAY: Massachusetts House to Hold Decisive Vote on Transgender Protections BillBy Adam Polaski • June 1, 2016 • 10:05 am
Following nearly a year-long full-court press to pass full non-discrimination protections for transgender people in Massachusetts, the Massachusetts House today is expected to debate and vote on #TransBillMA, a bill to ensure no transgender person faces discrimination in public spaces in the Bay State.
In early May, the Massachusetts Senate voted overwhelmingly in favor of the transgender protections bill, approving it with bipartisan support. And just yesterday, Republican Governor Charlie Baker said he would sign the bill. The vote today in the House will be a decisive vote – and if lawmakers approve the bill, it will go to conference committee before hitting the governor’s desk.
In a year when transgender Americans’ fundamental freedoms have been debated, attacked, and endangered, the momentum we have seen this year on the Massachusetts bill has demonstrated the power of transgender people speaking out, sharing their stories, and illustrating the many ways they face discrimination each and every day.
Yesterday Freedom for All Americans Executive Director Matt McTighe commented on Governor Baker’s journey toward supporting the transgender protections bill. He said:
Governor Baker’s announcement is a tremendous show of support for the transgender community and allies in Massachusetts who have worked for so many years to move him towards support for full transgender equality. His journey is a testament to the importance of transgender visibility, personal stories, and public education. We’re not done yet, but this is a huge step forward and we have tremendous momentum to finish the job. It has been nearly a decade since this bill was first introduced on Beacon Hill, and transgender people have waited long enough. We will do the work until every transgender Bay Stater can live without fear of discrimination.
Freedom for All Americans is proud to be a founding partner of Freedom Massachusetts and has dedicated our Chief Program Officer Kasey Suffredini as a chair to the campaign for the past year. 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. In addition, Freedom for All Americans has contributed to the Freedom Massachusetts coalition in the form of communications outreach, digital strategy, lobbying, and staffing campaign leadership roles.