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Words and Images: Transgender Rights Come to Massachusetts

Posted by Jim Lopata  January 20, 2012 09:53 AM

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aSigning_Photo_v1.jpg
Governor Deval Patrick signing the Massachusetts' Transgender Equal Rights Bill. On the left is Kara Suffredini, executive director of MassEquality, and on the right is Gunner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. (photo: Marilyn Humphries)

In a celebratory gathering at the Statehouse yesterday, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick ceremonially signed the Massachusetts' Transgender Equal Rights Bill into law.

Photographs of the momentous event displayed here were captured by photographer Marilyn Humphries.

Below are official statements released in relation to the signing by some of the major players, who helped secure passage of this historic legislation:

— Gunner Scott
Executive Director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
“This bill includes essential protections for transgender youth, adults, and families and is a life-changing piece of legislation. Its passage is historic ... While we celebrate today, we are also continuing our advocacy and education about the need for the vital protections that are missing in public accommodations.”

— Kara Suffredini
Executive Director of MassEquality
“Governor Patrick was a staunch advocate of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill from the earliest days of his administration, and we applaud his unwavering leadership in creating a Commonwealth where all hardworking people, including transgender people, will have the opportunity to make a living, put a roof over their heads, and get an education without fear of being discriminated against simply because of who they are. We are looking forward to working with the governor and lawmakers in getting a public accommodations law passed that will also protect transgender people from discrimination in public places like restaurants, grocery stores, trains and buses, and other places where daily life is routinely conducted.”

— Jennifer Levi
Director of GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project
“The bill that Governor Patrick ceremonially signs today adds essential protections for transgender people to our laws. We are grateful for the Governor’s leadership and commitment demonstrated throughout the legislative process. Today we rightly celebrate this historic achievement but do so with the knowledge that we cannot stop working until transgender people enjoy comprehensive civil rights protections including in all areas of public accommodation. We look forward to working with the Governor and the legislature in the future to achieve that important goal.”

— Arline Isaacson
Co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
"We deeply appreciate the Governor's unequivocal support of transgender equal rights. His leadership in support of LGBT equality continues to be unparalleled among elected leaders. And we are very grateful that House and Senate leaders were willing to put this important bill on their agenda and make sure it passed before the end of the year. Speaker Robert DeLeo was invaluable in the leadership role he played by insisting that the House vote on the measure. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr., the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice because we bend it in the direction of justice.”

aCrowd.jpg
Crowd gathering at the ceremonial signing of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Bill. (photo: Marilyn Humphries)

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author: Boston Spirit Magazine’s daily blog brings you all of the information you need on New England’s LGBT community. In addition to highlighting local and national LGBT news, we will also highlight local leaders from the worlds of business, politics, fashion and entertainment and keep you up-to-date on all the latest events and parties, hot spots for travel, shopping, dining, and more!
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