BOSTON (CBS) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey will hold a roundtable discussion Tuesday afternoon with the families of transgender youth as part of an effort to get state legislators to act on a bill expanding discrimination protections for transgender people.
“This is a matter of civil rights,” said Healey. “We’re bringing folks together today to talk about their experiences, and to help provide more information for the public about why this bill is so important.”
Massachusetts currently bans discrimination against transgender people in the workplace and in housing, and the new bill would extend those protections to areas of public accommodation like restaurants and shopping malls.
“Many other states have already taken care of that and have in place non-discrimination laws that protect transgender people from being discriminated against in those settings,” said Healey. “We don’t have that yet in Massachusetts. We need to right that wrong.”
The state’s two largest teachers’ unions, the Massachusetts Teachers Association and the American Federation of Teachers, announced they’re both supporting the expansion of transgender protections.
Gov. Charlie Baker, asked Monday how he felt about expanding the protections, said he would have to see the bill first before deciding whether or not to veto it.
“The details on this one are important,” said Gov. Baker. “I know the legislature’s been working on it, and we’ll look forward to seeing what they produce.”
House Speaker Robert DeLeo said the bill is a work in progress, and that he doesn’t know if he’ll have the votes to override a gubernatorial veto.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports