In a unanimous vote last night, Easthampton became the 15th municipality to officially endorse HB 1577/SB 735, otherwise known as #TransBillMA.
The bill would update existing state civil rights laws to included non-discrimination protections for transgender Bay Staters in public places like restaurants, shopping malls, doctors offices and public transportation.
Our own campaign manager, Carly Burton said of the Easthampton resolution, “Easthampton city council members have sent a powerful message by endorsing a bill that would provide much-needed protections for their transgender residents and families. It’s time for state legislators to listen to their cities and constituents and bring the transgender protections bill to a vote.”
Easthampton is the only city of 15 that have passed resolutions supporting HB 1577/SB 735, including Boston and Somerville, that lacks a local non-discrimination ordinance (NDO) that includes protections for transgender people in public accommodations.
Inconsistencies between local protections only serves to further highlight the need for comprehensive statewide non-discrimination laws that protect people regardless of what city they’re in, or whether they’re at work or a public park.
Easthampton’s unanimous decision to support #TransBillMA also speaks to the universal popularity of the legislation.
It’s time for state legislators to listen to their cities and constituents and bring the transgender protections bill to a vote.
In fact, the transgender non-discrimination bill has been gaining new momentum in recent weeks, with business endorsements peaking at 250+ with the addition of big names including General Electric Co.
In the past month, 350 clergy and congregations hosted events over a faith weekend of action to drum up support for the bill.
Attorney General Maura Healy, one of #TransBillMA’s most vocal advocates, initiated a digital campaign with the hashtag #EveryoneWelcome to raise awareness about the need for fully-inclusive transgender non-discrimination protections.
— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) March 31, 2016
The legislation also won endorsements from New England’s champion sports teams, leading law enforcement organizations, dozens of women’s groups and advocates against violence and sexual assault, the entire MA congressional delegation, and bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate, and more.
According to Senate President Stan Rosenberg, the bill will be debated on the Senate floor next month.