City and State Leaders Join Advocates in Raising Transgender Flag at City Hall
May 2, 2016

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Flag raised as legislation is voted favorably out of judiciary committee 

BOSTON — Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Representative Denise Provost, City Council President Michelle Wu, along with other elected state and city officials and members of the transgender community today joined together to raise the transgender flag at Boston City Hall plaza in support of SB 735/HB 1577, the transgender protections bill pending in the state legislature. The event happened just hours after the joint judiciary committee voted in favor of sending the bills to the house and senate for debate and vote.

“Boston has led the way in protecting transgender people in public places, and we are committed to making our community a safe, welcoming and vibrant place for all people to live and thrive in,” said Mayor Walsh. “Transgender people have demonstrated tremendous courage and made important contributions to our city and the Commonwealth. We are proud to display the transgender flag on City Hall Plaza, as a powerful symbol of our strong commitment to equality. We look forward to the passage of legislation that fully protects transgender people in Massachusetts.”

The transgender flag, designed by transgender Navy veteran Monica Helms in 1999, consists of pastel pink and blue stripes representing the traditional colors for baby boys and baby girls, while the white stripe in the middle represents “those who are intersex, transitioning, or consider themselves having a neutral or undefined gender,” according to Helms.

“Boston has served as a strong example of leadership on fairness for transgender people and their loved ones by putting a nondiscrimination law into place identical to the one pending in the legislature,” said Carly Burton, campaign manager of Freedom Massachusetts. “It is rare for any major city or jurisdiction anywhere in the world to show such a public display of support for transgender political protections in the way that Boston has done today. We are grateful to Mayor Walsh, City Council President Wu, and other Boston leaders for their unwavering and significant contributions in advancing transgender equality.”

The raising of the transgender flag is an historic occasion. Boston is the first municipality in the state to fly the flag, and is only the fourth in the nation to do so.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has set a date of May 12 for the bill to be brought to a debate in the Senate.

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Freedom Massachusetts is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people are treated fairly and equally under the law.

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