With only one week remaining for lawmakers to decide on transgender non-discrimination legislation, the Boston Red Sox stand in support—sending a strong signal that the Bay State urgently needs full LGBT protections.
Yesterday, the Red Sox endorsement went public, adding the 2013 World Series champions to an extensive list of business supporters. Given Fenway Park Stadium is the single-most iconic of public spaces in the Commonwealth, the significance of the Red Sox support to this campaign cannot be overstated.
The message that the Red Sox are sending in supporting legislation SB 735 and HB 1577 is: Transgender people are welcome in our stadium and deserve to be treated with the same respect and dignity as any other fan.
Transgender people are already protected from discrimination in housing and employment. If the legislature votes to pass SB 735 and HB 1577, the same protections would be granted in public places like Fenway Park, restaurants, shopping malls or public transportation.
There are only four business days and two voting days left in this year’s legislative cycle. And the transgender bill has been sitting in committee for over a month. Lawmakers must move fast in order to pass this legislation in 2015.
The campaign for full transgender equality is confident we have the votes necessary to pass the legislation. But if leadership doesn’t bring the bill to a vote, then it could stall out indefinitely in the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Because 2016 is a reelection year, a vote must be decided before November 19th or the legislation will very likely be side-lined until 2017.
Support for SB 735 and HB 1577 is as strong as it is diverse. This week, members of Congress penned a letter urging their colleague to take speedy action to pass the legislation. State legislators are also feeling pressure from a coalition of mayors and major law enforcement groups, while the list of municipalities with full transgender protections continues to grow. In addition to the Boston Red Sox, Massachusetts-based Trip Advisor also recently announced their support, bringing the total number of business Allies to 170+.
People from the public and private sectors stand united in support for transgender non-discrimination protections in public spaces. It’s time for lawmakers to act and pass SB 735 and HB 1577 this year. Click here to urge your legislators to take action now.