Today, we rallied with hundreds of supporters at the Statehouse to advocate for comprehensive protections against discrimination for transgender people. Currently, there are no explicit laws on the books that protect transgender people from discrimination in public places like parks, movie theaters, and shopping malls.
We spent the day talking to lawmakers and sharing stories about why this issue is important to Bay Staters. In conversation with bill supporter State Representative Denise Provost, she said:
No one in Massachusetts should be excluded from public places or mistreated because of who they are. Massachusetts law must fully protect transgender people from discrimination. The absence of full civil rights amounts to second-class citizenship.
Prior to Lobby Day, we had also secured public support from nearly 100 businesses. Over the summer, Google, Eastern Bank, and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare kicked off the Massachusetts Businesses for Freedom coalition and the group has been growing steadily ever since.
This week came with endorsements from the Boston Chamber of Commerce and the biotech company Biogen. Then, today from the Statehouse stairs, we were excited to announce a major endorsement from Facebook, the social media titan.
We’re also seeing momentum at the municipal level, with Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy signing a non-discrimination ordinance into effect in her city. This makes Lynn the 13th municipality in Massachusetts to adopt a comprehensive non-discrimination law.
Long-time bill supporter State Representative Sonia Chang-Diaz showed her support at the Statehouse today, saying:
People who lived through or have seen pictures of the 1960 civil rights sit-ins at lunch counters will remember that public accommodations are fundamental to equal rights in America.
Today’s Lobby Day was a landmark in Massachusetts’ journey to passing non-discrimination legislation that would protect transgender folks in public accommodations. Now is the time to harness this momentum and keep the pressure on to ensure a “yes” vote on full protections against discrimination for transgender Bay Staters.