Massachusetts House Bill 1728 An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes
Greater Boston PFLAG works to create inclusive, safe and welcoming communities, school classrooms and places of work. Greater Boston PFLAG supports passage of H.1728, An Act Relative to Gender-based Discrimination and Hate Crimes, because we believe that everyone should be able to attend school, work and live without fear of discrimination or harm. We know that every day, transgender people are at risk of violence and harassment, or of losing their jobs or housing, simply because of who they are. In our experience, people who are transgender face widespread prejudice and need explicit protections in Massachusetts law to protect them from discrimination and violence that manifests itself in one or more of the following ways:
Transgender and non-transgender students are often bullied and lose educational opportunities because they do not conform to stereotypes of how girls and boys should look or act.
Transgender people are frequently harassed in the workplace and are often subject to discrimination, hostility and misunderstanding, resulting in unwarranted termination and prolonged periods of unemployment or underemployment.
Because of their gender identity, transgender people are often subjected to threats of violence and experience disproportionate rates of violence, assault and murder.
Passage of H.1728 would add gender identity and gender expression to existing non-discrimination laws involving employment , housing, credit, public accommodations, public education and hate crimes. We believe that this legislation is important because it makes a strong and explicit statement of public policy that discrimination and violence against transgender people will not be tolerated. H.1728 strengthens the Commonwealth’s commitment to all people, including those of diverse gender identity and expression, to provide equal protection under the law and fair treatment in our communities, our schools and our places of work.
Greater Boston PFLAG is strongly committed to preserving, maintaining, and strengthening the community values of inclusiveness and welcoming that provide the opportunity for every person to live, study and work in an atmosphere free of fear and hostility. We believe that only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, both individually and collectively. Accordingly, we strongly support the adoption of H.1728.