With Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signing into law “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination” which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places the Commonwealth becomes the 18th state to do so. Our LGBT community responds with statements of praise. Dr. Steve Boswell Fenway Health President & CEO stated, “We applaud Governor Baker for signing the transgender anti-discrimination bill into law. This marks an important moment in the Commonwealth. Everyone, regardless of their gender identity, deserves full & fair protection from discrimination. The benefits of being able to exercise civil rights in public spaces such as restaurants, hospitals & public transit impact an individual’s ability to work, to participate in community life & even their ability to manage their health. As research from The Fenway Institute has shown, discrimination against transgender people in public spaces is associated with an increased risk of symptoms of poor health, as well as an increased likelihood to postpone or not seek needed care when sick or injured. It is increasingly clear that good public health is closely connected with the ability to live free from stigma & discrimination. The implementation of this law will mark an important step forward in achieving that goal.” Sylvain Bruni, President of Boston Pride added, “By passing legislation that will ensure that transgender men & women are protected against unwarranted discrimination in public, Massachusetts continues to make strides on LGBTQ issues…We thank Gov. Baker for signing this law, ensuring that our Commonwealth joins 17 other states, Washington D.C. & more than 200 cities & towns across the country that have passed non-discrimination laws protecting gender identity in public spaces. We look forward to a day when all are treated with respect, fairly & equally, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity & expression, or race & ethnicity.” The law takes effect October 1st 2016.
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