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Contact: Lauren DiTullio


BBA Joins Freedom for All Massachusetts Coalition in Supporting Transgender Antidiscrimination Law

The Boston Bar Association strongly supports protecting  An Act Relative to Transgender Antidiscrimination, signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker in 2016, from repeal at the ballot in November this year. As of today, the BBA has added its name to the Freedom for All Massachusetts Coalition, which includes hundreds of organizations, advocates, public officials, and businesses, in support of its ongoing efforts to protect the rights of transgender individuals in the commonwealth.

For over a decade, the Boston Bar Association has supported and advocated for antidiscrimination laws that extend protections for transgender individuals. We applauded the initial protections passed in 2011, which added protections on the basis of gender identity to housing, health, credit, and education, as well as the extension of these protections to include public accommodations in 2016. By passing An Act Relative to Transgender Antidiscrimination, Massachusetts ensured that necessary antidiscrimination protections extended to places like restaurants and malls and allows people to use the restroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.

These critical protections are at risk. Later this year, voters will decide whether Massachusetts reverses its progress toward equal rights for transgender individuals. The 2016 law will appear as a statewide veto referendum on the November 2018 ballot, asking whether voters approve of the law and the protections it provides.
The core of the BBA’s mission is promoting equal justice for all, and we strongly oppose the repeal of this law.

“The Boston Bar Association has a long history of fighting for equal justice, and we celebrated the expansion of transgender antidiscrimination protections to public accommodations last year,” BBA President Mark Smith said. “It is my hope that, in concert with the Freedom for All Massachusetts coalition, we can prevent this important civil rights victory from being reversed.”  

To learn more about Freedom for All Massachusetts, and see how you can get involved, please click here .

The Boston Bar Association traces its origins to meetings convened by John Adams, who provided pro bono representation to the British soldiers prosecuted for the Boston Massacre and went on to become the nation’s second president. Its mission is to advance the highest standards of excellence for the legal profession, facilitate access to justice, serve the community at large and promote diversity and inclusion.