Transgender Equal Rights Coalition Congratulates Nevada On New Law Protecting Transgender Workers From Discrimination
14 states, District of Columbia, and 100s of businesses now prohibit discrimination against transgender people
BOSTON—Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval signed into law yesterday a measure banning employment discrimination based on gender identity and expression. Nevada is the 14th state to prohibit workplace discrimination against transgender people.
“We applaud Nevada for protecting all residents,” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. “Everyone should have the same opportunities to work, and this bill will help Nevada residents who are transgender support themselves and their families.”
“We know that employment discrimination against transgender people is costing the state of Massachusetts at least $5 million a year in lost income tax revenues and increased expenditures on public health insurance coverage,” said MassEquality Executive Director Kara Suffredini. “Nearly 100 businesses in Massachusetts, our Executive Branch, and 14 other states, including three of our New England neighbors and the District of Columbia, have put protections in place for transgender people. We applaud Nevada lawmakers for working in bipartisan fashion to take this important step and urge lawmakers on Beacon Hill to join the chorus calling for passage this bill.”
On Wednesday, June 8, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing on the Transgender Equal Rights Bill at 1 pm in Gardner Auditorium at the State House. The bill would update Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination and hate crimes laws to include transgender people. The 13 other states, in addition to Nevada and the District of Columbia, that have enacted laws banning discrimination against transgender people are: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa, Oregon, and Washington.
About the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition:
The Transgender Equal Rights Coalition is working to pass “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.” (House Bill 502 and Senate Docket Number 536). This law would add gender identity and expression to existing Massachusetts civil rights laws, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, and marital status in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. The bill would also add offenses regarding gender identity or expression to the list of offenses that are subject to treatment as hate crimes. The bill defines gender identity and expression as “a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual’s assigned sex at birth.” This is consistent with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s past decisions, as well as Boston’s 2002 transgender anti-discrimination ordinance. Members of the coalition include MassNOW; ACLU of Massachusetts; Jane Doe, Inc., The Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; National Association of Social Workers, MA; Mass AFL-CIO; Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders; Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition; and MassEquality.