Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuesday, March 4th: Transgender Rights Hearing

Here's an essential public hearing everyone should know about in terms of making sure Massachusetts is a state that truly stands for civil rights for all.
Transgender rights activists are preparing to state their case for legislation that would protect transgender people from discrimination and hate crimes as a bill moves through the State House.

The bill, scheduled for public hearing March 4, follows the model of 13 other states that have legislation specifically protecting the civil rights and safety of transsexuals, said Daniel Glasser, aide to Rep. Carl Sciortino, a Medford Democrat who sponsored the bill.

The transgender rights bill is the first piece of statewide legislation to address transgender rights, though some Massachusetts towns and counties have ratified similar anti-discrimination laws, Glasser said.

Rep. Byron Rushing, who introduced the bill with Sciortino in Jan. 2007, said it is important for Massachusetts to explicitly include transgender people in the state's anti-discrimination laws.

"Transgender people represent a category of people who have been discriminated against, but are not always covered by the existing discrimination laws," he said. "This bill is a way to make sure Massachusetts maintains its record of consistently protecting people who are victims of discrimination."
Unfortunately, since the election I'm working on is actually on Tuesday, I won't be able to attend this - but it's imperative the bill passes, so I urge everyone to a) call their state reps and senators and b) if you can, show up to the hearing, which is public and likely open for public comment. Mass Resistance and their folks will very likely be at this event, so it's important that we show a strong show of force so our elected leaders know this is an issue that Massachusetts citizens care about deeply. It's very important that, in Massachusetts, no one is left behind.


John Hosty-Grinnell said...

Ryan, it is good to see that you were able to take time to address this important issue. I have created a post of my own on my website that addresses this, and the email MFI sent out urging their supporters to kill this bill.

My hope is that one day soon these creatures of hatred won't be able to fool enough people to stay in business.

Mark D. Snyder said...

The hearing was 10.5 hours long! Congrats to all!

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