Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Massachusetts has no trans-accommodation bill, either
by Rev. Irene Monroe

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Mississippi and North Carolina can now be added to the list of states codifying transgender discrimination.

To date, only 17 states across the country have passed non-discrimination bills protecting transgender citizens in public spaces. Shockingly, Massachusetts isn't one of them.

With Massachusetts lauded as one of the most pro-LGBTQ states in the country, my lawmakers have disappointed me with their political foot-dragging and stalling on our "bathroom bill." Senate President Stanley Rosenberg and Attorney General Maura Healey fully support the bill. Gov. Charlie Baker, however, has declined to take a stance on it.

Baker's inaction has caused him a national embarrassment—which is a pox on us Bay Staters, too.

Just recently, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce ( NGLCC ) rescinded their plans to honor Baker when the group learned of his refusal to take a stand on the transgender public-accommodations legislation currently before the State House, and of his intention to attend a Las Vegas conference that would have anti-LGBTQ speakers, and a Texas minister who has said God sent Adolf Hitler for the Jews.

Baker was set to be honored by NGLCC alongside Rep. Joe Kennedy III at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., until Kennedy flat out stated he would not attend the event because of his strong support for transgender rights and the governor's refusal to move swiftly and affirmatively on the bill that would protect transgender individuals as full citizens of the Commonwealth.

This sort of inaction by lawmakers makes it increasingly unsafe and difficult for our transgender denizens to engage in the simple activity of simply going out to grab something to eat, that cisgendered people can take for granted, without the angst, anguish and fear of navigating their bathroom restrictions.

Across the country, however, this sort of amped-up fear-mongering of the "predatory heterosexual male pervert" or "peeping Tom" has halted or canned movement forward in getting needed transgender public-accommodations bills passed. And obstructionists' claims against the bill, purporting to have nothing against transgender people, state their positions are to protect women and children from countless deviant men who would pretend to be transgender.

To date, however, there is no evidence to corroborate the fear. As a matter-of-fact, Chief William G. Brooks III of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association said "There is no reason to believe that individuals—whether transgender or otherwise—will use these protections as cover to enter into the restroom or locker room of the opposite sex and engage in criminal misconduct. We are aware of no such incidents that have occurred in Massachusetts communities that have already have such protections in place."

Faith leaders across the state have now stepped in, asking Baker and elected officials to move swiftly on the passage of SB 735/HB 1577.

The same week Baker's "Best-of-the-Best "award was rescinded by NGLCC Massachusetts Faith Leaders for Freedom, a diverse group of clergy from across the Bay State, invited congregations to participate in a Weekend of Faith for Transgender Non-Discrimination on April 9-10. Activities included prayer and action to support the passage of SB 735/HB 1577 from mentioning the bill during prayerful intentions, to hosting a letter writing party during coffee hour, to inviting a speaker during service.

In a public pledge that received hundreds of signatures from faith leaders standing up for SB 735/HB 1577, it stated the following:

"We are calling on the legislature to pass An Act Relative to Transgender Anti-Discrimination and add gender identity to existing state public accommodations law thereby extending protections to our fellow transgender and gender non-confirming citizens."

Freedom Massachusetts—the bipartisan campaign working to ensure all Bay Staters equal protection under the law—spearheaded statewide action with Weekend of Faith for Transgender Non-Discrimination. JeanMarie Gossard, field director of Freedom Massachusetts, shared her experience with me.

"In Church yesterday, the pastor preaching started his service by saying, 'Come if you are gay, come if you are straight, come if you are cis-gender, come if you are transgender, come. You are welcome here,'" Gossard wrote.

"Our faith leaders are our moral leaders. They have guided our understandings of right and wrong since time immemorial. They know how to put faith into action. And they did that this weekend. We hope their support can set a clear example for the legislature: all are equal in God's love."

These "Religious Freedom Restoration Acts" springing up across the country are a backlash to the growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and the growing fear of when the Supreme Court legalize it nationwide. They are a perversion of the Constitution and our history of religious freedom.

Recently I, too, participated in Massachusetts Faith Leaders for Freedom campaign. As an African-American, I see transgender Americans being denied access to public lavatories eerily reminiscent of the country's last century Jim Crow era denying us access to lunch counters, water fountains, and restrooms in restaurants, libraries, gas stations, theaters, to name a few. And, as a lesbian, I know that policing my transgender brothers and sisters using public bathrooms gravely impact gender non-conforming people, too.

Democracy can only begin when those at the margin can experience what others take for granted.

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

House passes Military Non-Discrimination Amendment 2019-07-11 - WASHINGTON July 11, 2019 — By a vote of 242-187, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed a non-discrimination amendment to the National ...

Gay News

Illinois trans woman freed from prison 2019-07-10 - Strawberry Hampton—a transgender woman who was transferred to multiple Illinois men's prisons after making abuse allegations against inmates and guards—is now free after ...

Gay News

Larry Kramer gives us one more chance to wake the f*ck up 2019-07-10 - Our friend Larry Kramer, the godfather of the AIDS activism movement, hasn't lost his edge. That should surprise no one. In his speech ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Lance Bass, trans actor, Miley Cyrus, 'Queer Eye' 2019-07-10 - In California, Lance Bass is a co-owner of Rocco's WeHo—the latest iteration in a small chain of establishments that mixes a traditional sports ...

Gay News

ART Darling Shear on artistic journey, making history 2019-07-07 - Mixed-media artist Darling Shear will become the first transgender artist to receive a grant from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum at the organization's annual ...

Gay News

Civil Rights Groups Urge Supreme Court to Protect LGBTQ Workers 2019-07-03 - WASHINGTON — The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and 57 other civil rights ...

Gay News

High court workplace cases affect LGBTQ veterans, military families, national security 2019-07-03 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Parade protests, trans billboards, 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' 2019-07-02 - Protesters brought the San Francisco Pride Parade to a halt for 50 minutes shortly after it started June 30, lying down in Market ...

Gay News

Chicago Trans couple Precious and Myles Brady Davis expecting a baby 2019-07-02 - Chicago trans couple Myles and Precious Brady Davis have publicly announced they are expecting a baby this coming winter. Myles, 37—who identifies as ...

Gay News

Moments in the Public Health Response to AIDS, CDPH LGBTQ Outreach Keynote June 28 2019-07-01 - Chicago Department of Public Health LGBTQ Outreach Keynote Speech, given by Tracy Baim, June 28, 2019, Chicago Cultural Center The following keynote speech ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.







About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.