Friday, February 25, 2011

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Signs Executive Order Barring Discrimination Based on Sexual Identity and Expression

The Boston Globe reported a few days ago that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed two executive orders which prohibit discrimination based on sexual identity or sexual expression in state employment. Link here for(Executive Order 526, barring third party vendors from such actions and Executive Order 527, which deals with state government itself. The Globe article briefly alludes to a piece of state legislation related to this which is currently in play. If you go to NECN (New England News Channel), you can see a brief report on the issue and see and hear Deval speaking on the matter. The short article that accompanies the video refers more explicitly to Governor Patrick's hope that his executive orders will assist in getting the bill passed, quoting him:

"It was brought to my attention by some of the advocates that there was a gap, and the gap was in transgender people, and it was an easy add, and I am happy to do it," he said. "There is a bill that has been moving through the legislature for a couple of years and I support that bill and I hope we'll get that bill out of the legislature and onto my desk this session."
And the advocacy organization Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition has an excellent website that covers it here. From the "Legislation" portion of the website, it appears that the bill(s) the Governor refers to are H1728 and S1687. You can see more about these bills at the excellent website, including full text of H1728, (in its 2009-2010 version), a summary of the House bill, "the truth about" the House and Senate bills, talking points, a lot of personal stories, information on other states which already have laws on gender-identity hate crimes, and more.

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