Thursday, November 17, 2011

Massachusetts Passes Transgender Rights Bill

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Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill Approved By Legislature
Huffington Post
Nov. 16, 2011

Massachusetts will become the 16th state to treat transgender citizens as a protected class after legislature passed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, which not only adds protections to the state's civil rights laws against employment, education, housing and credit discrimination, but also adds gender identity and expression to the state's hate crimes law.

As the Associated Press is reporting, the bill, which still needs routine final approval votes in both branches, was approved by the Senate Wednesday morning on a voice vote. The House passed the bill late Tuesday after Democratic leaders moved to limit debate to one hour, effectively cutting down on opponents' amendments.
The measure had been heavily criticized by House Republicans, many of whom objected to a public accommodations section pertaining to single-gender facilities like rest rooms and locker rooms, which was ultimately dropped two days before the vote, the AP notes.

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