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Massachusetts Governor signs pro-trans bathroom bill into law

Joseph McCormick July 8, 2016

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has signed a bill protecting the rights of trans people to use a gender-appropriate bathroom.

While Massachusetts already banned discrimination against trans people in housing and employment, the new protections includes public accommodations.

The Governor signed the bill after it passed in both the state House and Senate.

According to State House News, the inclusion of wording to address safety concerns raised by critics, was necessary to have Governor Baker sign the law.

The law specifies that the attorney general in the state must create guidelines for how to bring a case against any person who  “assert[s]… gender identity is for an improper purpose.”

The new law will go into effect on 1 October. The new guidelines must be in place by 1 September.

“No one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity,” Baker said in a statement.

According to the Associate Press, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination must also create guidelines to assist businesses in complying with the new law.

Similar to the way businesses have put pressure on North Carolina and Mississippi to repeal the newly introduced laws, some businesses in Massachusetts had urged the state to pass the new law to protect transgender people.

Similar to the way businesses have put pressure on North Carolina and Mississippi to repeal the newly introduced laws, some businesses in Massachusetts had urged the state to pass the new law to protect transgender people.

It expands 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.

Governor Baker has responded after being heckled off stage at an LGBT event earlier this year.

Baker was heckled as he made an 18-minute speech at the event, which was cut short. He was speaking at the Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night.

Those at the event booed him for failing to come out 100% in favour of the bill.

More: Charlie Baker, Massachusetts, US

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