News

Gov. Patrick To Hold Ceremonial Signing of Trans Bill

Hannah Clay Wareham
Bay Windows
Jan 11, 2012

Jan.

Lawmaker says Romney performed same-sex marriages as governor

PolitiFact.com
Jan 4, 2012
"The notion that Mitt Romney, as governor of Massachusetts, presided over the weddings of same-sex couples is ridiculous," Executive Director Kara Suffredini told us via email.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has spent a lot of time trying to convince socially conservative voters that he really, really is one of them.

Massachusetts passes Transgender Equal Rights Bill

Corinne Segal
The Tufts Daily
Nov 29, 2011

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on Nov. 23 signed into law a bill which will protect transgender individuals from discrimination in education, housing, employment and credit. The bill also modified the state's hate crime laws to protect transgender individuals.

The bill was first introduced in the state legislature in 2007 but has not come up for a vote until this year, according to Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality.

Frank’s Retirement Leaves Void In Congress

Bianca Vázquez Toness
WBUR.org
Nov 29, 2011
“We know when people know a gay person they are more likely to support equality,” she said. “There’s no accounting for the power of having an openly gay person in Congress. We now are lucky to have four, with Frank gone we’ll only have three.”

NEWTON, Mass. — Candidates are lining up to run for Rep. Barney Frank’s U.S. congressional seat. The 71-year-old Newton Democrat plans to finish his term but not seek re-election. Frank will undoubtedly leave a void. The question is how big.

If you ask Frank how Democrats will get on without him, he mentions another famous liberal Democrat.

“You know Franklin Roosevelt died,” Frank told reporters after his Newton news conference Monday. “You know all kinds of people leave and die. It’s a very big ocean, we don’t leave waves.”

Right laments, revels in loss of Barney Frank as foil

Glen Johnson
Boston Globe
Nov 28, 2011
MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini said: “Congressman Barney Frank is a national leader and his decision to retire, while understandable, will be a tremendous loss not just for residents of the Commonwealth, but for the country. Congressman Frank’s contributions span the important issues of the day, and his leadership on LGBT causes has been particularly critical.”

National conservatives lost one of their favorite foils in August 2009 when Senator Edward M. Kennedy succumbed to brain cancer.

Today they lost another constant target, Representative Barney Frank, when the Newton Democrat announced he would not seek reelection next year.

“Barney Bails,” blared the afternoon headline on the Drudge Report, which tilts decidedly to the right.

Author Matt Drudge appended a yellow smiley face, as well as an accompanying piece with a tenuous link to Frank’s announcement: “Happy Days: Dow Surges,” read that headline.

Gov. Patrick signs transgender protection bill

Staff
State House News Service
Nov 23, 2011
Patrick said he signed the bill as a matter of “conscience” even though lawmakers had stripped a provision that would have required all “sex-segregated facilities” to grant admission to people based on their gender identity, rather than their biological gender.

BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick signed legislation Wednesday adding the words “gender identity” to the state’s non-discrimination laws, a bid to prevent discrimination against transgender residents seeking housing, employment, credit or post-secondary education.

The bill also expands the state’s hate crimes statutes to include violence perpetrated against transgender men and women.

Transgender civil rights bill OK’d

Mark Arsenault
Boston Globe
Nov 17, 2011
The Anti-Defamation League New England applauded the bill’s approval: “Discrimination based on one’s gender identity or expression is just as destructive as discrimination based on those categories explicitly prohibited by current law and should receive equal and unambiguous protection,’’ Derrek Shulman, the group’s New England regional director, said in a statement.

After six years of lobbying on Beacon Hill, the state’s transgender community yesterday won civil rights protections that have long been extended to other minority groups.

The bill, now on its way to the governor’s desk, will forbid discrimination against transgender people in housing, employment, and credit. It will also add gender identification to the state’s hate crimes law.

The bill won final passage amid a rush of lawmaking on the last day before the House and Senate break for winter recess until next year.

Massachusetts (Finally) Moves to Protect Sex Slaves, Transgender People

Janelle Nanos
Boston Magazine Blog
Nov 17, 2011
“The Massachusetts legislature today recognized that transgender residents should be treated equally and protected under the law,” said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. “The Transgender Equal Rights Bill has languished for years, but today the Legislature sent a clear message of fairness and equality.”

While most of the buzz coming out of Beacon Hill has been about State lawmakers and their support of the casino bill, let’s not let that overshadow two very important pieces of legislation also approved this week.

Celebrating a historic step forward on transgender rights

Gavi Wolfe
Boston.com
Nov 16, 2011
In the words of Rachel Jette, who was fired from her job because of her gender identity, "a transgender person whether they be male or female accepts the fact that they may lose many things such as friends and family when they transition. The opportunity to earn a decent living, to have a place to live, or to be able to walk the streets without fear of being molested or killed should not be among those losses."

ACLU of Massachusetts legislative counsel Gavi Wolfe wrote the following guest blog.

Congratulations, Massachusetts! Today, with the passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill by our state legislature, the Commonwealth has taken another important step forward for equality. Governor Patrick has pledged to sign the legislation into law.

Mass. close to passing transgender rights law

Bob Salsberg
Associated Press
Nov 16, 2011
Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, said the state's estimated 33,000 transgender residents want to be able to live their lives without fear of discrimination.

BOSTON – Transgender people would be protected from discrimination in Massachusetts under a bill that is close to becoming law after winning Senate passage Wednesday.

The measure was approved by the state Senate on a voice vote without debate one day after the House passed it 95-58. The legislation still needs routine final votes in both houses before being sent to Gov. Deval Patrick, who supports it.

Sen. Benjamin Downing, D-Pittsfield, said the state's estimated 33,000 transgender residents want to be able to live their lives without fear of discrimination.