The Massachusetts House and Senate passed an important civil rights bill,
An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights, which seeks to extend
protection of the Commonwealth’s non-discrimination laws to transgender people.
The Boston Bar Association has supported this bill for several years and
recently submitted testimony
in support of its passage. The bill now heads to the Governor's desk for his
"Discrimination against individuals who are gender non-conforming is both
dehumanizing and inconsistent with the bedrock principle of justice for all,"
said BBA President Lisa C. Goodheart. "Massachusetts now has an opportunity to
take an important step forward, and we urge the Senate to approve this bill as a
matter of access to justice and equal protection."
The bill passed by the legislature would prohibit discrimination based on
gender identity in jobs, housing, insurance, mortgage loans and credit. Gender
identity would be defined as "a person's gender-related identity, appearance or
behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior
is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or
assigned sex at birth." The bill would also make offenses against transgender
people subject to treatment as hate crimes.