FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2016
Angela Dallara | [email protected] | 646.430.3925
Easthampton — Last night, the Easthampton City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of SB 735/HB 1577, the bill that would ensure explicit statewide protections for transgender people in public places. Easthampton currently lacks protections for transgender people in places like restaurants, shopping malls, parks, and hospitals, but recently passed a non-binding resolution that establishes a strong commitment to equality for transgender people.
“Easthampton city council members have sent a powerful message by endorsing a bill that would provide much-needed protections for their transgender residents and families,” said Carly Burton, Campaign Manager for the Freedom Massachusetts campaign. “Easthampton joins a growing number of geographically and politically diverse regions of Massachusetts that have called for legislation ensuring all Bay Staters are protected from discrimination. It’s time for state legislators to listen to their cities and constituents and bring the transgender protections bill to a vote.”
“Easthampton is a city that values fairness, diversity, and a strong sense of community among our residents,” said city councilor Tamara Smith, who co-sponsored the resolution alongside city councilor Jennifer Hayes. “SB 735/HB 1577 would update Massachusetts state law to ensure crucial protections for transgender people and allow them to thrive as much as possible in Easthampton and throughout the rest of the state. Protecting all transgender people from discrimination is the right thing to do and would strengthen our communty so that all people feel safe and welcome. We hope the legislature passes this bill and that Governor Baker signs it into law this year.”
Easthampton joins 14 other cities and municipalities that have endorsed the bill. Thirteen of these cities already have local protections in place for transgender people. In addition, the transgender protections bill enjoys support from more than 250 businesses, 350 clergy and congregations, leading law enforcement organizations, dozens of women’s groups and advocates against violence and sexual assault, the entire MA congressional delegation, all of New England’s champion sports teams, bipartisan leaders in the House and Senate, and more.
Freedom Massachusetts is the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all people in the Commonwealth are treated fairly and equally under the law.