Discrimination isn’t just wrong—it’s bad for business too. That’s why Harvard Pilgrim, Google and Eastern Bank all support Freedom Massachusetts and our campaign to update Massachusetts’ public accommodation law to prohibit discrimination against transgender Bay Staters. Those businesses understand that when communities are welcoming places for everyone to live, work and raise families; businesses succeed as well.
“Ensuring people can live safely and openly in their communities isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also fundamental to good health outcomes. It’s critically important that people feel safe and comfortable when they’re out shopping, dining at a restaurant or just taking a stroll through the park with friends or loved ones. Harvard Pilgrim is proud to support Freedom Massachusetts in making that well-being and sense of security a reality for everyone in Massachusetts,” said Karen Young, Vice President & Chief Inclusion Officer for Harvard Pilgrim HealthCare.
Steve Vinter, the Google Cambridge Engineering Director and Site Lead agreed, stating, “Google is proud to support Freedom Massachusetts because we aspire to be a company that reflects the globally diverse audience that our products serve, including the transgender community. We believe that in addition to hiring the best talent, the diversity of perspectives, ideas, and cultures leads to the creation of better products and services.”
Businesses are usually on the leading edge of efforts to secure protections for LGBT people. So it’s no surprise that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s leading Fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies in place that explicitly cover gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.
Eastern Bank’s Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Inclusion Director Nancy Stager makes the valiant point that open communities are strong communities, and that we all benefit from a more inclusive and welcoming society.
“Eastern Bank has been a part of Massachusetts for nearly 200 years, and we know what it takes to make our communities strong and successful. We know that ensuring our communities are open and welcoming places for everyone is essential to that. When our communities are thriving, it lifts up businesses of all sizes – and that makes our state a stronger, better place to call home.”
Massachusetts has a proud history of being ahead of the curve when it comes to non-discrimination protections, and in 2011, a broad coalition stood together to secure critical protections for transgender people in employment, housing, education and credit. But by adding public accommodations to the list, Massachusetts will join 17 other states and territories that ensure that no matter who you are, you deserve to be protected from discrimination in public spaces, too.