MHA President and CEO Steve Walsh attended the kickoff event of the Freedom for All Massachusetts Coalition, a bipartisan group seeking to defend the state’s transgender nondiscrimination law at the ballot. MHA joined more than 1,000 organizations representing healthcare, law enforcement, the business, faith, and transgender rights communities, among others to voice support for voting “yes” to uphold the law Governor Baker signed in 2016.
Shortly after the law went into effect in October 2016, opponents gathered the signatures required to place a repeal of the on the ballot in November 2018. Massachusetts will be the first state in the nation where transgender protections will be up for a vote on a statewide ballot measure. Currently, Massachusetts is among 18 states and more than 250 municipalities with nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public places, such as restaurants, shops, and medical offices. The law also protects transgender people from discrimination in public restrooms and locker rooms.
“The passage of the transgender nondiscrimination law in 2016 was one of my proudest moments as Speaker of the House, due in large part to the incredible advocates and families who bravely shared their stories,” said Speaker DeLeo at the campaign kickoff. “Now we must do all we can to be sure Massachusetts doesn’t take a giant step backward. This is not about political party, as evidenced by the support of many Republicans – including Governor Baker – for this law. It’s about people. I’m ready to do all I can to be sure we uphold this critical law at the ballot because it is about the values Massachusetts stands for.”
Freedom for All Massachusetts launched this website
and released a campaign video to showcase what is at stake for transgender individuals and their families.