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 2020-02-19
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Just recently, the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce ( NGLCC ) rescinded their plans to honor Baker when the group learned of his refusal to take a stand on the transgender public-accommodations legislation currently before the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

Majority of active duty servicemembers oppose trans military ban 2020-02-27 - WASHINGTON — Today, the Modern Military Association of America ( MMAA ) — the nation's largest non-profit organization dedicated to advancing fairness and ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 Report: 378K trans citizens could encounter voting hurdles 2020-02-27 - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law says that an estimated 965,350 transgender adults will be eligible to ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2020 JUDICIAL Transgender attorney Jill Rose Quinn on judicial race, making history 2020-02-25 - Since 1997, Jill Rose Quinn has had her own private law practice working on family and criminal law, LGBTQ issues, financial matters and ...

Gay News

Trans scientist kicks off TGNC-affirming symposium 2020-02-23 - Transgender climate scientist, humanist and activist Dr. Mika Tosca's keynote kicked off the day-long "Being a Stronger Ally: A Trans/GNC Affirming Symposium" Feb. ...

Gay News

Suburban district settles anti-trans lawsuit 2020-02-19 - After more than four years, Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 settled a lawsuit brought by transgender former student Nova Maday, who alleged discrimination. ...

Gay News

Starbucks pro-trans ad airs, but employees criticize company 2020-02-11 - Starbucks UK released an ad showing a young trans man getting to use his chosen name while getting a coffee—but the ad has ...

Gay News

VIEWS In 2020, being queer could be key to a courageous career 2020-02-08 - Remember, in The Wizard of Oz, how the Cowardly Lion—when he got to see the wizard—was like, "What? I already had courage? WTH?" ...

Gay News

Bloomberg under fire for anti-trans comments; campaign responds [UPDATE] 2020-02-07 - Days after unveiling a five-part, multi-pronged LGBT platform, Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is being criticized for ...

Gay News

'Being a Stronger Ally' symposium Feb. 22 2020-02-07 - Registration is open for "Being A Stronger Ally: Trans/GNC Affirming Symposium"—which the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce ( ACC ) is hosting in partnership ...

Gay News

Virginia passes laws that protect LGBTQs 2020-02-06 - On Feb. 6, Virginia legislators passed comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation ( the Virginia Values Act ) that activists said makes the state the first ...


Copyright © 2020 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.