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Republican governor signs Massachusetts trans rights bill into law

Republican governor signs Massachusetts trans rights bill into law

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law on Friday (8 July) that allows transgender people in the state to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

‘No one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity,’ Baker, a Republican, said in a statement.

The Massachusetts House of Representatives passed the bill last month after a version had already been passed by the State Senate.

State law in Massachusetts already prohibited anti-transgender discrimination in housing and employment. The new law extends the same protections to public accommodations.

Baker had said last month that he would sign the bill into law after the House and Senate versions were reconciled.

‘This compromise legislation extends additional protections to the Commonwealth’s transgender community, and includes language to address the public safety concerns expressed by some by requiring the Attorney General to issue regulations to protect against people abusing the law,’ he also stated.

Massachusetts joins 18 other states and more than 100 cities that have explicit non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, housing and employment.