New Year, New LGBTQ Rights Agenda!

MassEquality News

January 23, 2019


Photo of the entrance to the Supreme Court buildingBreaking News: SCOTUS Allows Trump's Trans Military Ban to Proceed While Court Cases Pending

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the Supreme Court temporarily lifted two of three injunctions on the Trump administration's ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. The injunctions were in place while the ban faces court challenges. The justices also declined to immediately hear appeals in the case, as the administration requested.

Because a third case, Stone v. Trump, was not considered by the Supreme Court, the nationwide injunction against the ban is still in effect. However, this ruling is still bad for transgender military personnel because it strengthens the administration's assertion that it can discriminate in choosing who can serve in the military. Transgender people have been serving in the armed forces with honor for many years, and have served openly since June, 2016 without any negative impact on military readiness. To deny them the opportunity to serve is a clear case of discrimination. MassEquality stands with our active transgender service members and those who wish to serve, and against the administration's harmful and unnecessary ban.

[Photo credit: Jeff Kubina]


MassEquality Announces a New LGBTQ Champions Agenda for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session

Photo of the Massachusetts State House2018 was a challenging year on every level. But MassEquality has been working hard to fight for LGBTQ rights and advocate for our community every day. Our efforts have been successful—together with our coalition partners and supporters in the history-making Yes on 3 campaign, we won the fight to protect transgender rights in Massachusetts—but there's still much more work to do...

MassEquality is already in the midst of a busy 2019 legislative session, and we need your help! Read on for more information about bills we're championing in the new  legislative session and how you can help us pass these bills and continue to expand and protect LGBTQ rights in Massachusetts.

The MassEquality 2019 Champions Agenda

Man in white t-shirt, jeans and red cap holds a sign that reads "Self-Hatred is Not Therapy."An Act relative to abusive practices to change sexual orientation and gender identity in minors - HD.2848
This bill, also known as the Conversion Therapy Ban Bill, would prohibit licensed mental health professionals from trying to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of a minor. If the bill passes this session, Massachusetts would join 15 U.S. states plus Washington, DC in banning this practice.
Lead sponsor: Rep. Kay Khan

An Act Relative to Healthy Youth - HD.827/SD.579
This bill would ensure that students receive medically accurate, comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education information in school.
Lead sponsors: Reps. Jim O’Day and Paul Brodeur, and Sen. Sal DiDomenico

The nonbinary pride flag, with 4 horizontal stripes of yellow, white, purple and black in order from top to bottom.An Act relative to gender identity on Massachusetts identification - SD.2047
This bill would allow an applicant to designate "X" instead of "F" or "M" on their birth certificate, driver's license, state ID card or liquor purchase ID card, as well as direct the Attorney General to report on other state forms that require a gender designation and the purpose of the requirement.
Lead sponsor: Sen. Jo Comerford

An Act relative to gender identity on Massachusetts identification - HD.840
This bill would allow an applicant to designate an “X” gender marker instead of “F” or “M” on their driver’s license or state-issued ID cards.
Lead sponsor: Rep. David Linsky

An Act Relative to the Collection of Data on LGBTQI Prisoners Held In Restrictive Housing - HD.1126/SD.2094
This bill would require correctional facilities to collect data and regularly report on the status of LGBTQ prisoners held in restrictive housing and solitary confinement in the Commonwealth.
Lead sponsors: Rep. Ruth Balser and Sen. Julian Cyr

The scales of justice drawn in black, shown against a rainbow flag backgroundAn Act relative to the reform of unconstitutional archaic laws - HD.185
This bill would repeal archaic laws criminalizing sodomy that remain on the books and could threaten LGBTQ people in the future.
Lead sponsor: Rep. Jay Livingstone


An Act establishing the Massachusetts Law Revision Commission - HD.224
This bill would create a standing commission to review Massachusetts laws and identify archaic language that should be repealed.
Lead sponsor: Rep. Jay Livingstone

Photo of a tablet displaying a "word cloud" that includes the words AIDS, HIV, infection, disease, etc.An Act Relative to HIV Prevention Access for Young Adults - HD.1945/SD.2115
This bill would allow youth to access preventive health services, removing a significant barrier to critical care.
Lead sponsors: Sen. Julian Cyr and Rep. Jack Lewis


An Act relative to Massachusetts home care eligibility - HD.1964/SD.1894
This bill would lower the age at which HIV survivors become eligible for Home Care services, extending needed care and support to people experiencing early-onset aging symptoms due to HIV.
Lead sponsors: Rep. Sarah Peake and Sen. Pat Jehlen

[Photo credits: Mark Williams; Daniel Tobias, Flickr, cc-by-sa-2.0; Mosir T, Wikimedia Commons, cc-by-sa-4.0; Palosirkka, Wikipedia; Nick Youngson, cc-by-sa 3.0;]


Photo of African American woman using a cell phoneAction Alert: Ask Your Legislators to Co-Sponsor Our Priority Bills!

Now that the new legislative session has begun and bills have been filed, our new bills need to secure co-sponsors. You can help our priority bills (listed above) gain important early support by urging your state legislators to sign on as co-sponsors. The deadline to co-sponsor bills is Friday, February 1, 2019.

Don't know who your state legislators are? Visit and enter your street address to find their names and contact information. Then call your legislators' offices, and urge them to co-sponsor the bills listed above.

Thank you for helping us gain support for our 2019 Champions Agenda and move LGBTQ rights forward here in Massachusetts!

[Photo credit: Ehimetalor Unuabona on Unsplash]


Red "Donate Now" buttonThe Trump administration's policies and regulations that erode our civil rights and undermine anti-discrimination laws demonstrate the increasing need for state-level protections to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally. That's why MassEquality's work to educate the public, advocate for LGBTQ rights and elect pro-LGBTQ candidates to public office is now more important than ever.

Please join us in our fight to defend our rights against the anti-LGBTQ backlash:
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