Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll and 13 other municipal leaders strongly support fair and equal treatment under the law for transgender people in Massachusetts. That’s why they’re all speaking out in support of our Commonwealth’s non-discrimination laws protecting transgender people for discrimination in public spaces like restaurants, shops and hospitals. Under the banner Mayors for Freedom, these leaders agree that our cities are safer—and our state thrives—when transgender people are afforded explicit protections in public spaces.
The letter below was sent to Massachusetts state lawmakers calling for passage of legislation ensuring fair and equal treatment for transgender people in Massachusetts.
To Our Elected Leaders:
As the proud mayors and town administrators of 12 cities and towns across Massachusetts, we hold a great respect for the statewide work that you do, from approving budgets that provide much-needed funds to our communities to passing bills that improve the quality of life for every Massachusetts resident.
While Massachusetts is as strong as ever, we’re concerned about the more than 100 bills that have been filed across the nation that would effectively strip away legal rights for people identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Even more disturbing is that Massachusetts, often known as a progressive powerhouse, has a significant hole in its law that allows for the continued discrimination of transgender people in public spaces.
As the leaders of 12 municipalities across the Commonwealth, we’ve supported our city councils and boards as they passed local ordinances or by-laws adding gender identity to our non-discrimination policies in public places. And, we are proud to say that these policies work.
We’ve had the satisfaction of knowing that our non-discrimination policies are comprehensive and that a group of people that have often been assaulted, harassed, denied service and relegated to second-class citizenship are treated equally within the eyes of our municipalities.
As the leaders of our Commonwealth, we’re asking you to extend these protections statewide. It will cost nothing, but the rewards will be invaluable.
We encourage you to support Senate Bill #735 (An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination) and House Bill #4343 (An Act Relative to Gender Identity and Non-Discrimination).
Massachusetts serves as a powerful example of inclusivity and acceptance. Passing this legislation will not only preserve the Commonwealth’s reputation, but will send a strong message to families, businesses, and students that this is a state that we all can call home and feel safe.
We look forward to working with you on passing this important legislation.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston
Mayor Kim Driscoll, Salem
Town Manager John Musante, Amherst
Board of Selectmen Chair Neil Wishinsky, Brookline
Former Mayor David Maher, Cambridge
Former Mayor Michael McGlynn, Medford
Mayor Robert Dolan, Melrose
Mayor Setti Warren, Newton
Mayor David Narkewicz, Northampton
Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville
Former Town Manager Thomas Younger, Swampscott
Mayor Joseph Petty, Worcester