Massachusetts to debate bill protecting the rights of transgender people
The Senate in the US state of Massachusetts is set to debate a bill which would increase protections for trans people.
Stan Rosenberg, the Senate President told business leaders in the area on Wednesday that the bill would be up for debate.
If passed, the legislation would expand on 2011 statewide laws which ban discrimination against people based on their gender identity in the workplace, in housing, in restaurants, and importantly, in bathrooms.
Rosenberg pointed to crises in states like North Carolina and Mississippi, which have recently passed anti-LGBT ‘religious freedom’ bills, removing protections, and restricting the rights of LGBT people.
He said such legislation equals the “denial of equal rights is not only hurtful to real people, it has disastrous economic and business implications.”
The bill does not yet have the endorsement of Republican Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, but he has said he supports the current protections.
The Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo has already said he would support the bill.
But DeLeo has raised concerns that if vetoed by the Governor, there may not be enough votes to override it.
Similar to the way businesses have put pressure on North Carolina and Mississippi to repeal the newly introduced laws, some businesses in Massachusetts have urged the state to pass the new law to protect transgender people.