Press

Massachusetts poised to become 16th state with nondiscrimination protections for transgender people

Date: 
November 16, 2011

MEDIA CONTACT:

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

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force applauds the Massachusetts legislature's passage today of a bill banning discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, insurance, mortgage loans and credit. The measure also includes protections under the state's hate crimes law, but does not contain protections related to public accommodations. Gov. Deval Patrick is expected to sign the measure, which will make Massachusetts the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, with clear protections for transgender people in its statewide nondiscrimination laws.

Over the years, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force supported this effort by providing legal analysis, testimony, training on lobbying, and activating supporters to take action on the bill.

Earlier this year, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality released Injustice at Every Turn: A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey, which reveals the depth of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming people. The groundbreaking study is the first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender people, and paints the most complete picture than any prior research to date.

The survey showed that 26 percent of transgender people have lost a job due to bias, 50 percent have been harassed at work, 19 percent have been denied a home/apartment, and 19 percent were homeless at some point due to bias, with higher rates for transgender people of color.

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

"Our national survey spotlights just how pervasive and severe discrimination is toward transgender people. The alarming personal stories and stats show that transgender people face injustice in many facets of their lives, from jobs to housing to their personal safety. Lawmakers responded appropriately to this crisis by moving to ensure that the people of Massachusetts, regardless of gender identity, are protected from such discrimination. This measure will literally save lives, and we continue to stand with our local partners in their work to secure public accommodations protections for transgender people. Congratulations to MassEquality, the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders and to all those who have worked so hard for so long to secure these critical protections. This is a wonderful victory for the people of Massachusetts."

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

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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund builds the grassroots political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. The Task Force Action Fund does this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation, and works to pass pro-LGBT legislation and other progressive initiatives. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the Task Force Action Fund are not tax-deductible.