A bill that would broaden Massachusetts
laws banning discrimination in public accommodations to include
gender identity cleared the Massachusetts Senate on Thursday.
The Senate voted overwhelmingly (33-4)
in favor of the measure.
“It is our responsibility to advance
these provisions when there is clear evidence that transgender people
can and are being discriminated against,” Senate President Stanley
Rosenberg, a Democrat, told BuzzFeed
News before the vote.
The legislation now heads to the House,
where it is expected to pass.
Jennifer Levi, transgender rights
project director at GLAD, applauded the vote.
“This is an incredible moment,” she
said in a statement. “And we got here through years of steadfast
work by transgender people, family members, allies, businesses, faith
leaders, and community organizations.”
“We have every chance to pass this
bill this year, to ensure fair and long-overdue protections for
transgender people, and to make Massachusetts a leader once again in
achieving equality for all,” Levi added.
While Republican Governor Charlie Baker
has said that he believes that “no one should be discriminated
against based on gender identity,” he has yet to say whether he'll
sign the bill into law.