Press

Massachusetts governor signs order protecting transgender state employees

Date: 
February 17, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:
Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17 — Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today issued two executive orders, numbers 526 and 527, which extend nondiscrimination protections to state employees on the basis of gender identity and expression, and apply to all state agencies and programs, as well as businesses that contract with the state.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force was pleased to provide technical assistance to Massachusetts Equality and Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition in their effort to secure this order.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"We commend Governor Deval Patrick for today's historic achievement in ensuring that all state employees, regardless of gender identity and expression, are equally protected from discrimination under the law. We applaud the Commonwealth's continued commitment to equal opportunity and inclusion in its state workplaces, as well as services, programs and contracts. This is a tremendous step forward. We would like to thank everyone involved in today's developments, including Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, MassEquality and the entire transgender equal rights coalition for their efforts to secure this executive order. We urge the Massachusetts state legislature to move quickly to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill to extend these basic protections to all workers in Massachusetts."

Statement by Gunner Scott, Executive Director
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

"Governor Patrick's executive order is a great step towards equality for transgender individuals and we still need to extend these protections to all transgender members of Massachusetts. Our hope is that the legislature will pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill quickly this session."

Statement by Kara Suffredini, Executive Director
MassEquality

"Governor Patrick is a true champion for the LGBT community, and we applaud the critical first step he has taken with this order toward creating a Commonwealth where all hardworking people, including transgender people, have the opportunity to make a living and provide for themselves and their families. And we are grateful to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force for providing research and resources, sometimes on a dime, to help us get to this historic day in Massachusetts."

Injustice At Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey

Today's executive order is followed by the recent release of the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's groundbreaking study, Injustice At Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which documents the pervasive and devastating discrimination faced by transgender and gender non-conforming people throughout the country, including the finding that nationally, over one quarter (26 percent) of transgender and gender non-conforming people have lost a job because of their gender identity/expression. Massachusetts-specific data from the national survey was also recently made publicly available.

For more information:

Download the full report of Injustice at Every Turn here.
Download the executive summary of Injustice at Every Turn here.
Download Massachusetts results of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey here.

To learn more about the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.