From the health of our youth to providing services for those living with HIV/AIDS, there's still more work to do. As part of MassEquality’s work as a social justice organization, we are honored to partner with groups that do amazing work across multiple issues, identities and communities.
We believe that transgender people deserve full equality in public spaces.
We believe minors should not be subjected to harmful and regressive mental health practices attempting to alter their orientations or identities.
We believe people suffering from HIV/AIDS deserve treatment for the full range of associated symptoms.
We believe that LGBTQ elders deserve culturally competent care.
We believe all children should have access to medically accurate information and quality health care.
We believe unaccompanied homeless youth should have control over their own healthcare decisions.
The 2016 MassEquality LGBTQ Agenda
During the 2016 legislative session, we are sponsoring an agenda focused on ending heath disparites and ensuring fairness. We support the following bills:
- Nondiscrimination Protections for Transgender People in Public Spaces (SB 735; HB 1577) This bill would add “gender identity” to existing Massachusetts civil rights laws for public accommodations, which currently allow for the exclusion of transgender people. This bill is sponsored by Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz as well as Reps. Denise Provost & Byron Rushing. Click here to see a fact sheet on nondiscrimination protections for transgender people.
Update: This bill is being debated in the Senate on May 12th, and we expect the House will take it up for a vote soon afterwards.
- Conversion Therapy Ban (HB 97): This bill would prohibit any efforts by licensed professionals who counsel minors from attempting to “change” the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Kay Khan. Click here to see a fact sheet on conversion therapy and the harm it can produce for minors.
Update: This bill was reported favorably out of committee, and is ready to move from the Committee on Steering, Policy and Scheduling.
- Lipodystrophy Treatment (SB 618; HB 927): This bill would require insurance coverage for treatment of a debilitating and disfiguring side effect of HIV medications. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Mark Montigny and Rep. Sarah Peake. Click here to see a fact sheet on the debilitating effects of Lipodystrophy and the need for insurance coverage for the condition.
Update: This bill was passed unanimously by the Senate, and was recently extended by the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing.
- Cultural Competency Training for Service Providers for LGBT Elders (HB 526): While LGBTQ folks of all ages experience stigma, discrimination and abuse, LGBTQ older adults have historically endured particularly intense homophobia and transphobia. This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum for delivery of accessible and appropriate services to LGBTQ older adults and caregivers. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Liz Malia.
Update: This bill is currently sitting in the House Ways & Means Committee.
- Comprehensive Sex Education in Schools (SB 265; HB 448): This bill would ensure that if a school in Massachusetts offers sexuality education, the curriculum must be comprehensive, medically accurate and age appropriate. This bill is sponsored by Sen. Sal DiDomenico and Reps. Jim O'Day and Paul Brodeur. Click here to read a fact sheet on the need for comprehensive sex education in our schools.
Update: This bill is sitting in the House Ways & Means Committee.
- Increased Healthcare Access for Homeless Youth (HB 2010): This bill would improve the access of homeless youth to healthcare by amending the statute to ensure that homeless youth are more easily able to prove that they are managing their own financial affairs as currently required to consent to medical and dental care. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Liz Malia.
Update: This bill was reported favorably, and now sits in the Committee on Health Care Financing.