AG Maura Healey launches #EveryoneWelcome campaign promoting #TransBillMA
March 18, 2016

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This week Attorney General Maura Healey launched a social media campaign to support HB 1577/HB 735, legislation that would prohibit gender identity discrimination in public places. The campaign, which uses the hashtag #EveryoneWelcome, features short videos of high-profile celebrities and everyday Bay Staters calling for legislators to take action on the bill.

Other famous faces of the campaign include comedian Kathy Griffin, Olympic gold medal winner and World Cup champion Abby Wambach, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.

Updating the public accommodations law to include protections for transgender people enjoys broad support in Massachusetts, including in the legislature, where both Senate President Stan Rosenberg and House Speaker Robert DeLeo have affirmed their support and signaled that majority votes exist in both chambers. Statewide Democrats like Attorney General Healey have been especially critical in their vocal support for trans rights. In announcing her new campaign, she had this to say:

“For me, this is a fundamental civil rights issue and makes clear we respect the dignity of each and every human being in our state. This is about young people and their families feeling safe when they go to our hospitals, our restaurants, our movie theaters and other public places. We need a law on the books that will make sure everyone is welcome regardless of their gender identity.”

Although the bill enjoys broad support, Governor Charlie Baker has not yet indicated whether he supports it and has opposed such legislation in the past. Without a supermajority—or his support—#TransBillMA faces a much tougher path to victory. Influential voices likes Attorney General Healey’s, in addition to those from families across the Bay State, could prove pivotal to his decision.

First, however, #TransBillMA needs to pass. The deadline for legislation was recently extended to May 2, so there’s still time for more Bay Staters to have their voices heard. Click here to tell your lawmakers that it’s time to pass HB 1577/ SB 735.

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