Massachusetts Senate passes transgender rights bill News
Massachusetts Senate passes transgender rights bill

The Massachusetts Senate [official website] advanced legislation on Thursday aimed at protecting transgender individuals from discrimination. Bill S.735 entitled An Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination [official summary], seeks to add the term “gender identity” to the protected classes afforded rights and protections under the law. The act further mandates that places of public accommodation with separate access based on gender must accommodate each individual based on the gender identity that the individual purports themselves to be, even if it contrasts with their biological sex assigned at birth. The bill will now head to the house for a vote and then to the governor before it becomes law.

The fight for the right of transgender individuals to have governmental protections in public spaces has created a wave of legislative and judicial actions. On Friday the Obama administration stated that it would issue guidance [CNN report] to schools on ensuring “transgender students enjoy a supportive and nondiscriminatory school environment.” The Florida American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the Marion County school district on Thursday, challenging their bathroom policy as anti-transgender. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] Monday challenging North Carolina’s controversial House Bill 2. The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled [JURIST report] in April in favor of a transgender Virginia high school student who sued his school for discrimination.