Freedom Massachusetts Statement on National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce Action
April 8, 2016

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BOSTON — Following the decision by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce to rescind its plan to honor Governor Charlie Baker at their upcoming gala in Washington, D.C., Carly Burton, campaign manager of Freedom Massachusetts issued the following statement:

“Governor Baker has shown a commitment to equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in his support of the freedom to marry and his endorsement of a groundbreaking initiative to support businesses owned by LGBT people. He has an opportunity now to cement his legacy by endorsing an urgently needed measure that would ensure full protections for transgender people in public places. He has said he opposes discrimination, and we urge him to make that ideal real for the Commonwealth’s transgender community and their families. Discrimination is wrong for any reason and in any form, and it hurts the Commonwealth’s ability to do business and maximize its economic productivity. Ensuring explicit protections from discrimination is not about partisan politics; rather, it’s about dignity and respect for all people, including transgender men, women, and children.”

Yesterday, a bipartisan group of lawmakers hosted a briefing with representatives from large and small businesses at the Massachusetts state house regarding implementation of the transgender protections bill. The event was sponsored by 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). In all, approximately 250 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.

North Carolina’s governor recently signed into law a measure that made it the first state in the nation to prohibit transgender people from using restrooms and facilities that correspond to their gender. That law has received significant national criticism from businesses and elected officials. This week, PayPal announced that it is canceling a planned expansion in North Carolina as a result of the law. The expansion would have brought 400 new jobs and $4 million in investments to the state. In addition, Rob Reiner has said he won’t produce any more films in North Carolina; while the NBA, which is scheduled to host its 2017 All Star Game in Charlotte, also immediately spoke out.

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Freedom Massachusetts is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people are treated fairly and equally under the law.


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