News

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.

Catholic Writer Issues Apology

Brian MacQuarrie, Martin Finucane and Michael Levenson
Boston Globe
Nov 3, 2011
“It bothers me that they didn’t recognize in the first instance that this was not a piece that should have been published,” Kara Suffredini said.

 

MassEquality Stands with Occupy Boston

Dana Edwards
Examiner.com
Oct 8, 2011
"It's only a matter of time before other similar groups join with Occupy Boston."

 

MassEquality stands with Occupy Boston

In a move which could have been expected Mass Equality announces support for Occupy Boston. Mass Equality is an organization which supports equal rights for the LGBT.

MassEquality In Support of Occupy Boston

Rainbow Times
Oct 7, 2011
"Occupy Boston is giving voice to Massachusetts residents who are suffering as a result of the economic crisis. That includes tens of thousands of LGBT residents," said MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini.

BOSTON, MA—The LGBT community is disproportionately represented among those who are victims of the nation’s ongoing economic crisis. We are the un- and underemployed. We are the un- and underinsured. We are the homeless and under-housed. And we are disproportionately impacted by government-sanctioned discrimination and denial of resources and protections.



If any group understands the plight of the 99% given voice by Occupy Boston, it’s the Commonwealth’s LGBT 6.5%:


Cautious Support In Mass. for Occupy Wall Street Protests

Kyle Cheney and Matt Murphy
Patriot Ledger
Oct 6, 2011
"The stereotype that the LGBT community is wealthy and privileged is a myth. The assumption that winning the freedom to marry ended anti-LGBT discrimination and disadvantage is flat out wrong. The fact is our community continues to disproportionately suffer from discrimination, economic uncertainty, and stigma – some of it, government-sanctioned," said Kara Suffredini.

Reacting to the Occupy Wall Street protests around the country,  Gov. Deval Patrick and other Massachusetts Democrats voiced support and encouragement on Thursday, but took a wait-and-see attitude about whether the populist message could rival the emergence of the Tea Party.


MassEquality’s Suffredini named to Equality Federation Board of Directors

Hannah Clay Wareham
Bay Windows
Oct 5, 2011
"[Kara] brings experience, judgment, creativity and a track record of accomplishment to the board and we look forward to many years of her service," said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of the Equality Federation.

Kara Suffredini, Executive Director of MassEquality, was named to the Equality Federation Board of Directors, the organization announced Friday, Sept. 30. The Equality Federation, a national alliance of LGBT advocacy organizations, works to build a more effective state-based equality movement.


Transgendered Rights: The Time To Act Is Now

Editorial
Boston Phoenix
Sep 29, 2011
In any final analysis, however, transgendered rights are about neighborliness and common decency, and treating others as we ourselves wish to be treated.

A bill to extend basic legal protections to transgendered people in Massachusetts has languished for years on Beacon Hill. It is time to stop stalling: the legislature should move immediately to approve it.There is currently a tremendous window of opportunity. The distraction of the casino debate — a ready excuse for delaying uncomfortable legislation — is about to end at last.

Erasing A Stain On Our Dignity

Kara Suffredini, Esq.
Bay Windows
Sep 28, 2011
"This simple change would have a profound impact. It would bring the Commonwealth’s laws into alignment with its values of promoting equality and justice for all."

Fun fact: there’s a law on the books in Massachusetts making it illegal to provide alcoholic beverages to hospital patients.



Not so fun fact: Sex between two women or two men is still deemed illegal under section 34 of Chapter 272 which criminalizes "the abominable and detestable crime against nature" and section 35 of Chapter 272, which criminalizes an "unnatural and lascivious act." Both of these sections are understood by courts to make same-sex sexual conduct illegal.


Erasing A Stain On Our Dignity

Kara Suffredini, Esq.
Bay Windows
Sep 28, 2011
"This simple change would have a profound impact. It would bring the Commonwealth’s laws into alignment with its values of promoting equality and justice for all."

Fun fact: there’s a law on the books in Massachusetts making it illegal to provide alcoholic beverages to hospital patients.



Not so fun fact: Sex between two women or two men is still deemed illegal under section 34 of Chapter 272 which criminalizes "the abominable and detestable crime against nature" and section 35 of Chapter 272, which criminalizes an "unnatural and lascivious act." Both of these sections are understood by courts to make same-sex sexual conduct illegal.


MassEquality Backs Bill to Remove Sodomy Language from Law

Jason Prokowiew
Edge Network
Sep 16, 2011
"Massachusetts has a long history of honoring and protecting its LGBT residents. Massachusetts General Law’s chapter 272 sections 34 and 35 are an ugly stain on that legacy." -- Kara Suffredini

 

MassEquality continues to push for the repeal of an arcane law that it maintains could potentially criminalize consensual same-sex sexual contact in the Commonwealth.