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Legislature Approves Transgender Rights Bill

BOSTON — The state Legislature has passed and sent to Gov. Deval Patrick a bill that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in Massachusetts.

The measure was approved by the Senate Wednesday morning on a voice vote. No senator spoke against it.

The House passed the bill Tuesday night, but only after Democratic leaders moved to limit debate to one hour, cutting off many of the 50 or so amendments that had been filed by opponents.

Some House Republicans had argued that the measure was unnecessary and could hurt small businesses that have transgender workers.

Proponents of the bill agreed to drop a public accommodations section of the bill that critics warned would lead to a breakdown in privacy in bathrooms and other single-gender facilities.

Gunnar Scott, of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, says the bill is a huge step forward for the transgender community.

“You know, at the end of the day, this is about human beings,” Scott said. “And this is what this bill should be about — the dignity and safety of human beings. Some of us are transgender, and we deserve that dignity and safety.”

The bill was given final approval by both houses later on Wednesday.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

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  • Anonymous

    Public accommodations is a lot more than bathrooms. It’s everything from resturants and hotels to medical clinics and veterinary offices. You can still be humiliated and kicked out of a movie theatre because the owner thinks your trans. This is a long way from “equal rights”!

  • Carole

    God made us man and woman. Looks like we are headed down the road of having  a bill to protect the rights of all those who where glasses, a ring in their ear, a tatoo etc. Where does this nonsense stop? You would think that our elected officials would be working on providing jobs and fixing the economy instead of all this frivolity.

  • Amazonjn

    People who justify their terrorism by claiming the bigot voice in their head is God demonstrate why we need laws like this and gives hope that the evangelicals have not yet taken over all of the states.

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