Happy Spring, ICTE Supporters!
We hope this finds you well, and reflecting on meaningful holy weeks in all senses. We come bearing gratitude, good news, and an update about the Transgender Equal Rights Bill (An Act Relative To Transgender Equal Rights, House Bill 502 / Senate Bill 764).
THANK YOU for making Transgender Faith Action Week and the rest of the faith campaign thus far so very successful! We are deeply grateful to you for helping us send this powerful message to the legislature – the Massachusetts faith community wants to see this vital legislation passed this session. More than 100 faith communities have participated – here’s the list:
The highlight of the Week was the amazing clergy press conference – the first faith-themed press conference for the bill – here’s the media coverage:
If you distributed postcards, please collect them and send them to:
262 Washington Street – 7th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
The faith campaign will continue until the bill passes! The Transgender Faith Action Week Facebook event (http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=188135257891766) is being converted into a site for the remainder of the faith campaign.
Here’s how you can take action to support the bill – please share this information with everyone you can:
Sign ICTE’s Declaration Of Religious And Faith-Based Support for the bill -- by Monday May 23rd. Here’s the Declaration as a PDF:
If you don’t see your or your community / organization’s signatures, email InterfaithCoalition@gmail.com – include the name(s) as you wish it/them to appear (if you have a title, please use it if you can), and the denomination(s).
Submit written testimony for the bill’s hearing (Wednesday, June 8th) – by Monday May 23rd.
Write a letter telling the Joint Committee on the Judiciary why you support the bill and urging them to do so (we need them to vote the bill onwards to be voted on by the full legislature). If you submitted testimony last legislative session, you will be contacted about updating it. Submit your written testimony to the Committee co-chairs and MTPC. All testimony will be presented to the Committee the day of the hearing. Full instructions for writing and submitting testimony:
Attend the bill’s hearing on Wednesday June 8th , at 1:00 p.m. in the MA Statehouse’s Gardner Auditorium.
This is the public hearing before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, which we need to vote the bill onwards to be voted on by the full legislature.
Attend Transgender Equal Rights Lobby Day on Thursday June 23rd, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the MA Statehouse’s Grand Staircase.
RSVP to Rachel@masstpc.org or 617.778.0519 -- include your name and mailing address and/or legislators’ names so we can check you in faster on Lobby Day. A limited number of transportation stipends (for no/low income) and ride shares are available – include this in your RSVP. Make appointments with your legislators for any time on June 23rd. Gather at the Grand Staircase at 1:00 for a short program of legislative supporters, policy makers, and community members. And check in to receive your Lobby Day packet.
Transgender Equal Rights Lobby Day Facebook event:
Everyone is welcome and needed at the hearing and Lobby Day – you do not need to testify or meet with a legislator. We need the Statehouse to see as many supporters as possible. We particularly need visible clergy, lay leaders and other people of faith.
Learn more about the bill and MTPC’s legislative and educational work through a conference call.
MTPC will be holding two phone conference calls:
Staff members of advocacy / partner organizations – next Wednesday May 11th at 4:00 p.m.
(ICTE will be participating)
Community members -- next Thursday May 12th at 6:30 p.m.
To register and receive the call-in number RSVP to Rachel at email@example.com / 617.778.0519 -- include your name, email address and which call you will participating in. Capacity is limited, but additional calls will be scheduled if needed.
And again – please share this information with everyone you can!
Yours in gratitude, hope and excitement,
Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality (ICTE)