Saturday, June 23, 2007

Transgender Civil Rights Bill Must Be Our Community's Top Priority

Now that we have defeated the anti-gay marriage amendment, many in the LGBT community are asking, "what now?" Where do we go from here? Where should our community be directing its efforts? What is the next fight?

These questions are being asked and speculated upon all across Massachusetts. It has been said many times that our next fight should be to repeal the "1913 law" that prohibits gays and lesbians from other states from marrying in Massachusetts. This law is clearly discriminatory and it needs to go.

However, before we take up the fight to allow gays and lesbians from other states to marry here, lets make sure we take care of all the members of our own LGBT community first. The right to marry is important, but
there are still some basic human rights being denied to some in our community today. We need to make sure that everyone in the Massachusetts LGBT community has the same basic protections that gays and lesbians have been enjoying since 1989.

Transgender people are not protected in our state's non-discrimination or hate crime laws. Transgender people in Massachusetts have been fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and beaten up on the street. Before we do anything else, we must address this blatant discrimination.

Of course we have the ability to work on more than one issue at a time. However, our top priority must be to fight for the basic rights of those in our LGBT community who are not yet protected under the law. We should all be
able to work, go to school, and live without fear.

This year,
Representative Carl Sciortino and Representative Byron Rushing introduced House Bill 1722, "An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes". The bill is currently sitting in the Judiciary Committee. We need to make it clear to the leaders in the LGBT political movement that this bill is our top priority. We have the Governor, Senate President, and Speaker of the House on our side. They have each made a commitment to our community. Let's use that to get this bill passed.

Please join me in advocating that the Transgender Civil Rights Bill be our community's top priority. Go to the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition for more information.


At 6:55 PM, Blogger Lara said...

Although the Hate Crimes Act of 2007 House Bill(Hr1592) was passed and sent to the Senate where it was approved also. It still has not been signed into law by the President. I fear it will just on his desk and he will never sign it into law. He is being pressured not to sign this by the far right religious right, and some conservatives.

At 11:20 PM, Blogger Ryan Adams said...

I don't see why the two are mutually exclusive?

Why not push ALL our causes at the same time, so nothing's left out, in one big media push?

If we don't get everything on the table, fewer and fewer people will realize there's bad stuff still happening. "Didn't we just help you all?" Is a reaction I think we'd be likely to get.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Tom said...

Interesting thought Ryan. This is where we have to look to people who were the backbone of LGBT issues over the last few decades--Arline Isaacson and her people.

The legislature is not the LGBT-affirming group that the marriage issue gives the impression it is.
Arline needs to share some of the her thoughts on this one.

Quite frankly, I often feel like you do about these issues. It just isn't right that LGBT are being treated like this.

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Gender Crash said...

Thank you for bringing attention to the need for support on the bill.

Currently, MTPC is doing a big push for fundraising so we can hire one full time transgender person to work this. As well our Lobby Day expenses pretty much wiped out our very (and I mean very) modest budget.

We are looking for people to hold house party fundraisers for us this summer... if anyone is interested please email gscott at masstpc org

At 8:36 PM, Blogger icarus said...

Thank you for posting that. Again, please, please refer people to MTPC's donation page:

The organization is essentially broke right now (and recently had a NEGATIVE bank balance). This is the time for everyone who cares about trans rights to step up and donate their time and/or money to fight for protection and equality in Massachuetts.

I also made a post here:



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