Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Governor Deval Patrick Signs Transgender Equal Rights Bill Today, Public Signing To Be Held in Near Future
Today, Governor Deval Patrick is expected to sign the Transgender Equal Rights Bill privately, as he has just a 10-day window in which to sign bills into law. The bill was passed by the legislature last week. A public signing ceremony will be scheduled for a future date. The law will take effect on July 1, 2012.
“Governor Patrick has been a vocal supporter of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill since the bill was first filed in 2007” said Gunner Scott, executive director of the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition. “We applaud the Governor because he has been a staunch advocate in recognizing the transgender community and leader in getting this bill passed.”
Gov. Patrick was a vocal proponent of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, advocating, he has submitted written testimony in support of the bill at all three public hearings. Last February, he signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against transgender people in state employment, which reaches 43,500 executive branch employees and 13,500 state contractors.
In 2008, Gov. Patrick appointed the first transgender person, Diego Sanchez, to a Democratic National Committee standing committee. Diego Sanchez is a former co-chair of MTPC and has since gone on to work as the first out transgender legislative staffer for Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition for all of their efforts in passing “An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights.” Some of the 104 members of the coalition include MassEquality, 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 & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders; Mass Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus; Jobs with Justice; the Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality; and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.
The House voted 95-58, and the House vote tally is here:http://aclum.org/sites/all/files/legislative/2011/trans/mass_trans_house_vote.pdf. The Senate passed the bill on a voice vote (see MTPC Senate co-sponsor list).
MTPC encourages all community members to thank the Representatives and Senators that voted for the bill and most especially, the lead sponsors, Representative Carl Sciortino & Byron Rushing, and Senators Ben Downing, and Sonia Chang-Diaz; the legislature’s leadership House Speaker Robert Deleo and Senate President Therese Murray; and especially, Governor Deval Patrick.
MTPC will alert community members to the date and location of the public signing ceremony so community members may attend and MTPC plans to hold an additional community event on or about the same day to share in this historic moment.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Contact: Gunner Scott
For Immediate Release
Transgender Equal Rights Now a Reality in Massachusetts
BOSTON, MA [11/16/11] – The Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is proud to announce the passing of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill in the House and the Senate extending civil rights and hate crimes protections to the state’s transgender residents.
Last night, just before 9:00 PM, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the Transgender Equal Rights bill without any amendments. This morning by 10:30 AM, the bill passed in the Massachusetts Senate. The bill must still be approved once more in Senate the Governor can sign it. As we wait for Governor Deval Patrick to officially sign this bill into law, we can celebrate the impact this will have on our transgender youth, adults, and families across the Commonwealth.
MTPC thanks our legislative lead sponsors Representative Carl Sciortino, Representative Byron Rushing, Senator Ben Downing, and Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz; all of the House and Senate co-sponsors, and the leadership of House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray for providing vital protections for approximately 33,000 transgender residents here in Massachusetts.
This bill will give transgender people equal protections when seeking employment, housing, credit, and education. The bill also expands the state's hate crimes protections to now include transgender people; a community that experiences alarmingly disproportionate levels of harassment and violence.
The final version of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill passed by the legislature unfortunately does not include protections within public accommodations. MTPC and our coalition partners fought hard to try to get public accommodations restored in the Senate version of the bill, and were unsuccessful in doing so. Although this bill does not include public accommodations, this is a historic and important victory in the fight for achieving transgender equality in Massachusetts.
“This is not the end of our fight, and MTPC is committed to getting public accommodations protections for our transgender youth, adults, and families. MTPC plans on introducing a bill for the 2013 legislative session for those public accommodations
MTPC expresses our deepest gratitude to our community members, who have spent countless hours educating their legislators and the general public about the issues transgender people face. "It is because of the courage of our community members to come forward and tell their personal stories about themselves, their family members, and their friends that we have accomplished this milestone," said Nancy Nangeroni, Steering Committee Chair of MTPC.
MTPC thanks the members of the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition including MassEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), ACLU of Massachusetts, MassNOW, Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Jobs with Justice, and Interfaith Coalition for Transgender Equality for their tireless work on behalf of transgender equal rights.
Founded in 2001, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC) is a 501(c) 3 that works to end discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. MTPC educates the public, advocates with state, local, and federal government, engages in political activism, and encourages empowerment of community members through collective action.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Monday, November 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
New Survey: Strong Majorities Favor Rights and Legal Protections for Transgender People
Americans have Solid Understanding of Transgender Identity
Among the Findings:
- Approximately 9-in-10 (89%) Americans—including strong majorities of all religious and partisan groups—agree that transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.
- Three-quarters (75%) of Americans agree that Congress should pass laws to protect transgender people from job discrimination. This support persists across the political and religious spectrum.
- Approximately three-quarters (74%) of Americans also favor Congress’ recent expansion of federal hate crime laws to include crimes committed on the basis of the victim’s gender, sexual orientation or gender identity, compared to only 22% who oppose.
- Two-thirds of Americans agree that they feel well informed about transgender persons and issues, while 3-in-10 disagree.
- In order to determine whether Americans understood the term "transgender," PRRI conducted a follow-up survey in September 2011 that asked respondents to report what the term "transgender" meant to them in their own words. Among the 91% of Americans who report that they have heard of the term transgender, 76% give an essentially accurate definition. Thus, overall, more than two-thirds (69%) of Americans are able to identify what the term "transgender" means without any assistance.