In Massachusetts today “An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination” goes into effect that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places making the Commonwealth the 18th state to do so. The Massachusetts law clearly & explicitly extends protections to transgender people to ensure our fair & equal access to spaces like restaurants, hospitals & public transportation. Jennifer Levi GLAD Transgender Rights Project Director stated, “Today, thanks to years of steadfast work by the transgender community, our family members & loved ones, dedicated transgender & ally organizations, partners & supportive businesses, our non-discrimination laws now fully recognize the dignity & humanity of transgender people. Because of this our laws are more fair & our Commonwealth is stronger. Thank you for all you’ve done to make it happen.” Of course opponents of transgender equality have collected signatures in hopes of putting this law up for a popular vote in 2018. The verification process for those signatures will take time & nothing will be final until every signature is validated by the Secretary of State. So we can only speculate about whether that will happen. In the meantime Massachusetts 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.
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