Republican Governor expected to sign bill that would make MA 18th state with explicit protections for transgender people in public places
Today the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed HB 4343, the bill that would update state law to ensure explicit protections for transgender people in public places, including parks, restaurants, hospitals, and public restrooms. The bill also passed the Senate overwhelmingly and with bipartisan support on May 12. It now heads to conference committee for final procedural steps, and will then go to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk.
Massachusetts is the first state since 2014 to pass a bill ensuring explicit protections for transgender people in public spaces.
“Today, Massachusetts has bucked a national trend of legislative attacks against the transgender community and offered a simple but powerful acknowledgement to transgender young people, adults and our families: that we are human beings, worthy of respect and deserving of equal protection under law,” said Kasey Suffredini, chief program officer of Freedom for All Americans and co-chair of Freedom Massachusetts, the bipartisan campaign working to pass the bill. “This is a victory of fact over fiction and a testament to the transformative power of story telling. Since these protections were first introduced in Massachusetts nine years ago, transgender people courageously have come forward year after year to educate lawmakers about our experiences with discrimination and to dispel myths and stereotypes about who we are. Massachusetts lawmakers demonstrated today that they have been listening, and their tremendous leadership will serve as a model to other states that are only now beginning the conversation about transgender equality. We look forward to seeing this legislation arrive at the governor’s desk for his signature as soon as possible.”
Freedom for All Americans is a founding partner of Freedom Massachusetts and has dedicated Suffredini as a chair to the campaign for the past year. Under Suffredini’s strategy and leadership, Freedom Massachusetts has recruited and secured endorsements from more than 250 businesses, more than 350 clergy and congregations, 11 labor unions representing more than 750,000 families, 16 statewide women’s and victim’s advocacy groups, every major professional sports team in New England, the state’s leading law enforcement associations, the entire MA congressional delegation, the state attorney general, bipartisan leadership in the House and Senate, public endorsements from both the Senate President and the House Speaker, and more.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker has moved from campaigning against transgender protections in 2010 to favoring allowing people to use the restrooms that match who they are. Just yesterday, he announced that he will sign a version of the bill when it reaches his desk.
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.