For Immediate Release
Monday, November 16, 2015
Contact: Matthew Wilder
BOSTON – Calling on the legislature to act immediately to pass legislation that would explicitly prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public places – such as parks, train stations, restaurants, movie theaters, and medical offices – today law enforcement officials and families joined together on the steps of the Massachusetts State House.
“No one should have to worry about whether they’ll face discrimination when going about their everyday lives and enjoying time in Massachusetts’ stores, restaurants, and parks,” said Kasey Suffredini, co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, the coalition advocating for the legislation. “This bill would change my life for the better, and improve the lives of approximately 33,000 other transgender people living in Massachusetts today. This is the legislature’s final opportunity this year to bring this bill to the floor and update our state law to protect all Bay Staters from discrimination. Massachusetts is ready, and the legislature should not stall any longer.”
Among those who gathered today at the State House were State Representative Paul Tucker, the former Chief of Police in the City of Salem; Brandon Adams, a 14-year-old transgender teenager from Framingham; and the parents of transgender children. Norwood Police Chief William Brooks, on behalf of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, spoke about why the state’s leading law enforcement officials support this legislation.
“There is no reason to believe that individuals —whether transgender or otherwise—will use these protections as cover to enter into the restroom or locker room of the opposite sex and engage in criminal misconduct,” Brooks said. “We are aware of no such incidents that have occurred in Massachusetts communities that have already have such protections in place. Finally, based on the experience of our members who work in localities that already protect transgender individuals in places of public accommodation, implementation will be straightforward and uncomplicated.”
The Massachusetts Major City Chiefs has announced their support for the legislation in addition to more than 160 small and large businesses that have signed on in support.
Today more than 5,500 signatures in support of the legislation from constituents across Massachusetts were delivered to House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg. A letter co-signed by more than a dozen mayors across the state whose cities have already implemented transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination protections was also delivered.
For more information, visit www.freedommassachusetts.org.
Freedom Massachusetts is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people are treated fairly and equally under the law.