Governor Baker: Tonight, it’s time to affirm support for full transgender equality in the Commonwealth
January 21, 2016

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Tonight, Governor Charlie Baker will give his annual State of the Commonwealth address. And when he does, he has the opportunity to finally affirm that discrimination has no place in Massachusetts by showing his support for SB 735/HB 1577, legislation prohibiting gender identity discrimination in public spaces.

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Currently in Massachusetts, there are no explicit protections for transgender Bay Staters who must fear facing discrimination in places like hotels, restaurants and medical offices. SB735/HB1577, which are pending in the legislature, would update the state’s public accommodation law to ensure that transgender people are fully protected under the laws of our Commonwealth.

Earlier today, our Campaign Manager Carly Burton called on the Governor to signal his support tonight and announce he would sign this critical civil rights bill when it reaches his desk:

“Governor Baker has an opportunity tonight to address one of the most important pieces of legislation currently pending in the statehouse, which is the bill that would ensure full protections for all transgender people in Massachusetts. No one should fear discrimination for being who they are. This bill would make Massachusetts a better place to live and work, and it would ensure Massachusetts’ reputation as a beacon of liberty and freedom in America. We hope Governor Baker makes this bill a priority in his speech tonight, and that he signs it into law when it arrives at his desk.”

Should the Governor announce his support, he’d be in good company. Polls show that a strong majority of Bay Staters support full transgender protections—and over the last several months, a broad, bipartisan coalition has come together to call for swift passage of the legislation.

Earlier this month, every major professional sports team in New England announced their support of the bill. Fourteen Mayors and town leaders from across the Commonwealth – including Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll – have called on the legislation to be passed. More than 200 businesses across the state have endorsed the bill, and Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo have also announced their support of the legislation.

Tonight, we urge Governor Baker to stand by values we all share as Bay Staters—that no one in our state should face discrimination in their daily lives simply because of who they are.

CLICK HERE to urge Governor Baker and members of the House and Senate to take decisive action to pass SB735/HB1577

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