Major labor unions and organizations across the state, including AFL-CIO, Massachusetts Teachers Association, and 1199SEIU, have officially announced their opposition to a harmful initiative on the 2018 Massachusetts ballot that would repeal non-discrimination protections for our transgender neighbors, family and friends—agreeing that there must be explicit protections in public spaces on the basis of gender identity. In total, the unions represent more than 65,000 families and workers across the state of Massachusetts.
As the organizations representing the working men and women of Massachusetts, we write today to strongly urge you to support the passage of House Bill 4343/Senate Bill 735, An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination.
Throughout our history, unions have been leading advocates against discrimination, however it manifests. Over the last several decades, we have actively worked to extend protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers and families in Massachusetts.
Today, we continue that tradition by standing with all those Bay Staters who believe it's time to update Massachusetts' public accommodations law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. Support for this critical piece of legislation continues to grow in the communities you represent. Nearly 200 locally owned businesses and organizations support the legislation - including all the region's professional sports teams. Supporters also include local law enforcement leaders and educators who have implemented guidance at our state's public schools for the last couple of years with no issues to report.
Our Commonwealth's workers should be treated with dignity and respect not only on the job but also when they are customers at the very restaurants, hotels, hospitals and other public accommodations where they work. This is consistent with our Commonwealth's values and it also makes practical sense.
It's bad for all of us when any one of us experiences discrimination in the state we call home. We call on the Massachusetts General Assembly to pass An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination in 2016.