MassEquality News (October 4, 2017)

MassEquality News

October 4, 2017


Elder Caregivers Training Bill Hearing Scheduled
A nurse kneels next to an older woman sitting in a wheelchair. Other older women are seated in the background.Testimony from Elders Needed on October 11th

On Wednesday, October 11th, An Act Relative to LGBT Awareness Training for Aging Services Providers (SB 346/HB 2892) will receive a hearing before the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs. This bill would require LGBTQ awareness and cultural competency training to be developed and delivered to elder service providers, improving the quality of care for LGBTQ older adults. The hearing is scheduled to start at 2:00 pm at the Massachusetts State House in Room A1.

We want to ensure that the Committee on Elder Affairs hears from LGBTQ elders about the critical need for such training. If you have experienced harassment, mistreatment or hostility from caregivers or facility staff because of your LGBTQ identity, your voice is needed to explain why this training is important. We also want Committee members to hear about your positive experiences with facilities and caregivers who have received LGBTQ cultural competency training. We also need elder care providers to testify about the benefits of receiving such training. Your personal story will help convince lawmakers of the need for this legislation.

If you're interested in testifying at the hearing, MassEquality is available to help you prepare your statement. You can either tell your story directly to the committee members (2-3 minutes of speaking) or deliver a written statement. Please contact us as soon as possible if you plan to testify, and let us know if you would like help with your statement. [Photo Credit:U.S. Navy Mass Comms Specialist 3rd Class Andrew Lavin, cc-by-2.0]

ACCESS Bill Hearing Brings Advocates to the State HousePink box with the words "YOU deserve ACCESS. No matter what."

The ACCESS bill (An Act Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State) received a hearing before the Joint Committee on Financial Services on the morning of October 3rd. Advocates from MassEquality, the MA chapter of the ACLU, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, NARAL Pro-Choice MA and other organizations attended the hearing in the Gardner Auditorium at the State House. This bill would ensure access to affordable birth control products and keep insurers from interfering in women's health decisions. Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, a coalition of 17 insurance companies, have also come out in support of the bill, which contains compromise language to address concerns regarding costs and potential misuse of medications.

Now that the hearing is over, your legislators need to hear from you about this bill. Please contact your state legislators and ask them to support the ACCESS bill (SB 499/HB 536). Don't know who your state legislators are? Visit and enter your contact information in the form, then scroll down the results page to find your state legislators and their contact information.


A Guide for the Homesick Oct. 6-Nov. 4Join Us for a Night at the Theater!

LGBTQ Night at "A Guide for the Homesick" on 10/12 to benefit MassEquality

MassEquality invites you to LGBTQ Night at the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts for the Huntington Theatre Company's production of A Guide for the Homesick, a provocative new play by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Ken Urban and directed by Colman Domingo (“Fear the Walking Dead”). This performance, followed by a catered reception with MassEquality staff and board members, will take place on Thursday, October 12th at 7:30 pm.

MassEquality supporters can get discounted tickets to this performance—visit to learn more and order your tickets today!


Happy Anniversary, #TransLawMA!Transgender pride flag blowing in the wind against a light blue sky
One year ago this month, on October 1st, the Transgender Anti-Discrimination law went into effect, protecting transgender people throughout Massachusetts from discrimination in public spaces. On that day, Massachusetts joined 19 other states in treating transgender people equally under the law.
MassEquality joins our transgender friends and community members and our coalition partners in the Freedom for All Massachusetts campaign in celebrating this important milestone in securing equal rights and freedom for everyone without regard to sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
We wish the story ended there. But even as we celebrate, we must prepare to fight against a right-wing attempt to repeal the law through a measure on the 2018 ballot that threatens to roll back the legal protections we all fought so hard for.
We need your help to defend transgender rights! Sign up to volunteer with Freedom for All Massachusetts at, and visit their web site at for more information about the campaign to keep #TransLawMA on the books and ensure equal and fair treatment for our transgender neighbors.
[Photo Credit: Torbakhopper, cc-by-nd-2.0]
And if you're interested in getting more involved, read on...

Freedom for All Massachusetts Holds Power Summit This WeekendPerson holds up a sign that reads "Trans Rights Are Human Rights" over the transgender pride flag

The Freedom for All Massachusetts (FFAM) campaign is working to defeat a dangerous initiative on the statewide ballot in Massachusetts in November 2018 that seeks to repeal our state's non-discrimination law for transgender people.

Want to help lead the fight against this assault on transgender rights? You're invited to attend the FFAM Statewide Power Summit on October 7th and 8th. This full weekend event is the first in a series of trainings for "super volunteers" who will play a critical role in educating and mobilizing their communities to defeat this ballot measure.

For more information and to register for the Power Summit, visit [Photo Credit: Ted Eytan, cc-by-sa-2.0]