Jennifer Levi the Director of the Transgender Rights Project for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, testified Tuesday at the Massachusetts Statehouse in support of a bill providing protections in public accommodations for the state’s transgender citizens.
Testimony on SB 735 & HB 1577 was heard before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Committee on the Judiciary. Current non-discrimination law in the Commonwealth does not expressly protect transgender people in public accommodations, such as stores, restaurants, hospitals, public transportation & parks. Jennifer Levi stated, “In failing to expressly protect its most marginalized citizens as they go about their daily business, Massachusetts is falling behind in its leadership role on equality for all. Being able to point to a statewide policy of inclusion & support will give me and many others the authority we often need to respond when others are telling us to leave a public space or that we are wrong to be there.” An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination would add “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights law for public accommodations. Massachusetts law currently prohibits discrimination in public accommodations on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, religion & marital status. GLAD is a member of the coalition Freedom Massachusetts, which has been working for passage of this bill & is honoring Trans Activist Jennifer Finney Boylan at their 16th Annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner at the Boston Marriott Copley Place at 110 Huntington Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts on October 16th.
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