is a youth-led, adult-supported social support organization committed to social justice, and creating, sustaining and advocating for programs, policies and services for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth community. BAGLY offers social support, health promotion and youth leadership development through its community outreach programs and services.
In coordination, several smaller more local organizations fall under the BAGLY umbrella. If you're on the North Shore, definately check out the NAGLY website as well.
An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights
House Bill filed by Rep. Carl Sciortino & Rep. Byron Rushing
Senate Bill filed by Sen. Benjamin Downing and Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz
Summary and Background
The Transgender Equal Rights Bill would add "gender identity and expression" to existing Massachusetts civil rights laws, which currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, sex, and marital status in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and credit. The bill would also add offenses regarding gender identity or expression to the list of offenses that are subject to treatment as hate crimes. The bill defines gender identity and expression as "a gender-related identity, appearance, expression, or behavior of an individual, regardless of the individual's assigned sex at birth." This is consistent with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination’s past decisions, as well as Boston’s 2002 transgender anti-discrimination ordinance.
What does "gender identity" and "gender expression" mean?
Gender identity is one’s internal, personal sense of being a man or a woman. Most people don’t experience a difference between their sex and their gender identity. For transgender people, however, the sex they were born as and their own internal sense of gender identity do not match. Therefore, transgender people will change their gender to match their internal sense of themselves. Gender expression refers to how a person expresses their gender identity, or the cues people use to identify another person’s gender. This can include clothing, makeup, behavior, speech patterns, and mannerisms.
Why is it needed?
Transgender people in Massachusetts frequently encounter unequal treatment in employment, schools, housing, public accommodations, and access to health care. They also report high incidences of violence and harassment. During a 10-month period in 2009 and 2010, MTPC and other organizations that serve transgender people received 297 calls from transgender men and women seeking assistance. Callers ranged from a man who had been fired from his job after he was outed as transgender, to a man whose health insurer refused to process his health care claim because it did not recognize his new, legal name, to a woman who’d been attacked with a beer bottle by passersby who called her a "freak" as she walked down the street. A July 2009 report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health found that only 92.3 percent of transgender residents have health insurance, compared with 98 percent of all state residents. The report concludes: "Support of non-discrimination protection for transgender persons could help reduce stigma and by extension, improve health."
Is MA the first to include "gender identity or expression" in non-discrimination law?
15 states, Washington D.C., and 136 cities and counties
(including Boston, Cambridge, Amherst, and Northampton) have passed non-discrimination laws or ordinances protecting people on this basis. States included are: California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Iowa, Oregon, and Washington. Many employers based in Mass. and others that are operating in Mass. have already adopted non-discrimination policies that include gender identity and expression, including Bank of America, John Hancock Financial Services, Microsoft, Prudential Financial, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Is MA the first to include "gender identity or expression" in hate crimes law?
No. 10 states and Washington D.C. have included gender identity and gender expression in hate crimes laws: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Additionally, the
Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act
adds sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability to existing Federal law.
What do the governor’s two executive orders related to gender identity and expression do?
These orders prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and expression. They cover 43,500 executive branch employees. Additionally, 652 statewide and department-specific contracts linked to over 13,500 active vendors are impacted by these orders. However, a statewide bill is necessary to protect all residents of the Commonwealth from discrimination.
Key Events in Support of Passing An Act Relative to Transgender Equal Rights H 502/S764This fact sheet was developed by MTPC, GLAD, MassEquality and the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition For more information visit www.masstpc.org January 2011
Nearly 100 constituents turn out (during a snowstorm) to lobby their legislators to cosponsor the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
The bill is re-filed with 68 cosponsors, putting it in the top 10 percent of bills filed in terms of the number of cosponsors.
Gov. Deval Patrick signs executive order prohibiting anti-trans discrimination in state employment and contracts and reiterates his pledge to sign the Transgender Equal Rights Bill when the legislature passes it.
The University of Massachusetts system follows the governor’s lead and adopts transgender protections the day after he signs the executive order.
editorializes in support of the executive order, and urges the legislature to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
The Boston City Council unanimously passes a resolution in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill that calls for the legislature to pass it this session.
Episcopal Bishop Thomas Shaw and other faith leaders call for passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill at a State House press conference.
AG Martha Coakley keynotes the Mass. Transgender Political Coalition’s Lawyers for Transgender Rights Event, during which she calls for passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill and pledges to work to get it passed. Coakley also notes that her office has implemented policies prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.
The Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy releases a study showing that employment discrimination against transgender residents of the Commonwealth likely costs the state millions annually in lost income tax revenue and expenditures on public assistance programs.
State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office implements policies prohibiting discrimination against transgender people.
New Bedford Standard Times
editorializes in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
Attorney General Martha Coakley testifies in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
U.S. Senator John Kerry, Congressman Barney Frank, Gov. Deval Patrick, State Treasurer Steve Grossman and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino submit written testimony to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary in support of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill.
National Progress Toward Transgender Equality
President Obama signs the Matthew Shepard Act, expanding federal hate crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim’s gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.
The Obama Administration appoints Dylan Orr, a Smith College graduate, as special assistant to Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathleen Martinez in the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor. He is the first transgender person to serve in an Executive Branch position.
Amanda Simpson, a former employee of Massachusetts-based Raytheon Company, begins work as a senior technical adviser in the Bureau of Industry and Security in the Commerce Department, becoming the second transgender person appointed by the Obama Administration.
The Obama Administration, through the Office of Personnel Management, begins listing gender identity among the classes protected by federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) policies.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issues guidance on the Fair Housing Act, instructing HUD staff that discrimination against transgender people can be addressed under the law’s ban on gender discrimination.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) proposes regulations to ensure that HUD’s programs are open to all who need them, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie signs a law prohibiting employment discrimination against transgender people (the state already had laws protecting transgender people in housing and public accommodations).
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (a Republican) signs a law protecting transgender people from employment discrimination.
The U.S. Office of Personnel Management issues guidance on supporting transgender employees in the federal workplace, ensuring that workers transitioning on the job are treated fairly and respectfully.
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval signs two additional bills, one protecting transgender Nevadans from discrimination in public accommodations and one protecting them from housing discrimination.
Following the Connecticut House’s lead, the Connecticut Senate passes a comprehensive transgender non-discrimination bill, which Gov. Dan Malloy has already pledged to sign into law.
The Center for American Progress releases national polling data showing that among likely 2012 voters, 73 percent support workplace non-discrimination laws that protect gay and transgender people.
On November 4, 2008 Proposition 8 passed in California, amending the state Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. The defeat provoked a groundswell of initiative within the GLBT community at a grassroots level, with many new political and protest organizations being formed in response.
The NOH8 Campaign is a photographic silent protest created by celebrity photographer Adam Bouska (http://www.bouska.net) and partner Jeff Parshley in direct response to the passage of Proposition 8. Photos feature subjects with duct tape over their mouths, symbolizing their voices being silenced by Prop 8 and similar legislation around the world, with "NOH8" painted on one cheek in protest.
Nearly two and a half years since its inception, the NOH8 Campaign has grown to over 13,000 faces and continues to grow at an exponential rate. The campaign began with portraits of everyday Californians from all walks of life and soon rose to include politicians, military personnel, newlyweds, law enforcement, artists, celebrities, and many more.
The NOH8 Campaign has received overwhelming support from around the world, and has appeared in various local and national news programs and publications. The images are widely used on various social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the message of equality. Eventually the images will be compiled for a large-scale media campaign.
Come out to Machine Friday this week for hot guys in skimpy costumes and a shot at $1000 in prizes!