After months of advocacy, hearings, votes and an outpouring of support from across the state, #TransBillMA is officially slated to become the law of the Commonwealth.
Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law less than a day after it had cleared final votes in the Massachusetts’ House and Senate, putting a quick end to a decade-long campaign to protect transgender Bay Staters from discrimination in places like restaurants, concert venues, shopping malls, doctors offices, and public transportation.
— Freedom Mass (@Freedom_Mass) July 8, 2016
— Freedom Mass (@Freedom_Mass) July 9, 2016
The Governor had 10 days to act on #TransBillMA, but he wasted no time, following the example set by the Legislature, which swiftly maneuvered the legislation’s final versions through both chambers within 24 hours of receiving it from a conference committee where House and Senate versions of the bill had been combined into a single piece of legislation, S2407.
Kasey Suffredini and Mason Dunn, Co-Chairs of Freedom Massachusetts, the bipartisan campaign that led the efforts to make this legislation the law of the Commonwealth, celebrated today’s signing as historic—a day in the making thanks to the bill’s many supporters but one that ultimately could not have come without transgender Bay Staters themselves doing the hardest work of all: showing up.
According to Suffredini:
“Let there be no doubt that today history was made in Massachusetts. The enactment of this law comes after ten long years of transgender people summoning the courage to step out the shadows to publicly advocate for their civil rights. While we did so proudly, it should not be forgotten that many did so at great personal risk of losing a job, a friend, or ties with family. This is a victory for those brave people and indeed a victory for Massachusetts.”
Dunn noted that today also broadcasts an important message across the country about equality and what people can do when they unite in pursuit of a common goal.
“Our work has helped people understand what it means to be transgender and that basic protections of law should be afforded to all people. Today, Massachusetts sends a powerful message to the nation that politics need not play a role in the pursuit of equality for all Americans. We have shown beyond a doubt that LGTBQ rights are human rights and that transgender equality and justice for all is of concern for everyone, no matter political affiliation.”
The new law officially takes effect October 1.