FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Contact: Matthew Wilder
Boston City Council Passes Resolution in Support of Transgender Anti-discrimination legislation
Boston Youth Honored by Council for LGBTQ Activism
BOSTON – The Boston City Council today passed a resolution urging the passage of legislation currently pending on Beacon Hill that would provide explicit protections from discrimination in public places for transgender men, women and children in Massachusetts. The resolution, introduced by Council President Michelle Wu and At-Large city councilor Michael Flaherty, passed unanimously. While the City of Boston established protections for transgender people more than a decade ago, protections do not extend to every city and town in the Commonwealth.
“Having the support of the Boston City Council sends a powerful message to any doubters that these types of protections work,” said Carly Burton, Freedom Massachusetts Campaign Manager. “Boston has had protections in place for 14 years and the sky has not fallen. In fact, the safety and well-being of all residents has been improved.”
In a rare move, every city councilor spoke in support of the resolution calling on the passage of the legislation.
“I’m proud that Boston has led on the protection of transgender people for so long, but now is the time for the entire state of Massachusetts to stand behind these men and women” said President Wu. “Basic protections and dignities should not be reserved for some people, they should be enjoyed by everyone. That’s exactly what this legislation does.”
At the beginning of the regular weekly meeting of the council the members honored student members of the Greater Boston GSA Leadership Council, a network of students who work to promote connections among Boston-area schools, providing opportunities for student leadership, and improving school climate.
Currently, there is no explicit prohibition on discrimination against transgender people in public places in the Commonwealth. This includes parks, medical offices, restaurants and retail establishments. Equal treatment in employment, housing, K-12 education and credit has been law since 2012. Fourteen Mayors and town leaders from across the Commonwealth – including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll – have called on the legislation to be passed. Additionally, the state’s leading law enforcement officials have endorsed the legislation. In all, more than 200 businesses and organizations across Massachusetts – including the region’s professional sports teams and the state’s teachers’ unions- now stand in support of the legislation.
State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz along with State Representatives Byron Rushing and Denise Provost are lead sponsors of the bill (House Bill 1577/Senate Bill 735).
For more information, visit www.freedommassachusetts.org.
Freedom Massachusetts is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people in the Commonwealth are treated fairly and equally under the law.