Governor Patrick Signs Historic Executive Order Protecting Transgender State Employees

Massachusetts Becomes 21st State Offering Employment Non-Discrimination Protection For Transgender State Workers

Governor Deval Patrick signs executive order BOSTON, February 17, 2011—Today, Governor Deval Patrick signed an historic Executive Order prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and expression in state employment. It applies to all state agencies in the Executive Branch, as well as businesses and organizations that contract with the Executive Branch.

“Governor Patrick is a true champion for the LGBT community, and we applaud the critical first step he has taken with this order toward creating a Commonwealth where all hardworking people, including transgender people, have the opportunity to make a living and provide for themselves and their families,” said MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini.

A national survey of 6,450 transgender people released earlier this month by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality found that respondents had twice the rate of unemployment as the general population; 90 percent of those surveyed reported that they had been harassed on the job; and 47 percent said they believed they had been fired, not hired, or denied a promotion because of being transgender. Meanwhile, 26 percent said that they had lost a job due to being transgender. Of the 283 respondents from Massachusetts, 76 percent reported experiencing harassment or mistreatment on the job; 20 percent said they’d lost a job; 17 percent said they had been denied a promotion; and 39 percent said they had not been hired for a job because of their gender identity.

“These statistics show the stark need for a statewide bill to prohibit employment discrimination based on gender identity,” said state Rep. Carl Sciortino, a lead sponsor of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill along with state Rep. Byron Rushing and state Sens. Ben Downing and Sonia Chang Díaz. “No one should work in fear of being fired from their job for reasons that have nothing to do with job performance.”

The Executive Orders are available for viewing in PDF below:

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About MassEquality

MassEquality works to ensure that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in Massachusetts is protected from cradle to grave—with equal rights and opportunities in school, in marriage and family life, at work and in retirement.