Today, key business executives and small business owners took the fight for full transgender non-discrimination protections to Beacon Hill, as they met with legislators in support of SB 735/HB 1577, legislation updating the state’s public accommodation law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public spaces like hotels, restaurants and medical offices.
The group of business leaders represented some of the most notable employers in the Commonwealth, including Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Eastern Bank, Cambridge Health Alliance, Partners Health Care, Liberty Mutual, Biogen, Cambridge Common. Each of these companies are proud members of our Massachusetts Businesses for Freedom coalition, which totals more than 200 small and large businesses across the Commonwealth.
The event was sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Reps. Byron Rushing (D-Boston, South End), Denise Provost (D-Somerville), and Sheila Harrington (R-Groton), and Senators Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston) and Richard Ross (R-Wrentham).
Karen Young of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, said the company’s commitment to passing SB 735/HB 1577 is rooted in a deep commitment to ensuring everyone is treated fairly and equally:
“Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare has long stood for LGBT equality because we know the importance of making all of our employees and patients we serve feel welcome and valued. The transgender protections bill would ensure that all Massachusetts residents are treated fairly in all aspects of their lives, and would echo the policies we already have in place and that we know work well at our company. Our members should feel safe not only within our offices, but every time they step outside and live their lives elsewhere throughout the Bay State.””
And it wasn’t just corporate voices in the Statehouse today. Small businesses owners like Justice Williams of Mike’s Fitness/BodyImage for Justice attended the briefing to make the case to lawmakers that it’s finally time for Massachusetts to be open for business to everyone, not just some.
“Inclusive practices are good for any business that wants to reach as many people as possible and maximize its productivity and revenue. Local businesses thrive when they send a message that their doors are open to all. Ensuring full protections for transgender people is good for the economy, and it’s the right thing to do.”