updated 02-24-2014

Current Legislation

Equal Access in Public Accommodations

MTPC’s legislative focus is on “An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and All Other Places Open to the Public” (House Bill 1589/Senate Bill 643), which would add “gender identity” to existing state civil rights laws, which currently permit the exclusion of transgender people in public spaces.

Other bills we support (download PDF)

 

2013 An Act to Provide Housing and Support Services to Unaccompanied Homeless Youth (House Bill 135)
This bill seeks to reduce youth homelessness and its adverse effects by funding a continuum of housing and support services geared specifically for unaccompanied homeless youth. The goal of these efforts is to improve housing and residential stability, reduce the risk of harm, and improve educational, physical, and mental health outcomes for this population. This bill relates to a budget amendment passed during the fiscal year 2013 budget debate that established a special commission tasked with identifying the needs of the unaccompanied homeless youth population and identify real, tangible solutions to the problem.

2013 An Act Regulating Use of Credit Reports by Employers (House Bill 1744/Senate Bill 80)
An increasing number of employers run credit checks on applicants and current employees, often rejecting those with “bad” credit histories. This makes it harder for people to find jobs and hurts our state’s economy. These credit checks are unjustified, discriminatory, and unfair.

  • There is no relation between someone’s credit report and performance as an employee.
  • Credit reports often have errors, and it is often impossible to get the errors fixed.
  • For transgender job seekers, credit reports can reveal a past legal name, which can ultimately out that job seeker has having had a different gender in the past, increasing the likelihood of discrimination.

2013 An Act Relative to Bullying in Schools (House Bill 454/Senate Bill 206)
This bill requires district bullying-prevention plans to include enumerated categories of students who are more vulnerable to bullying. It also requires stronger data collection by school districts of bullying incidents and school climate.

2013 An Act Relative to Abusive Practices to Change Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity in Minors (House Bill 154)
This bill bans licensed medical professionals (including mental health or human service professionals, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, psychiatric nurses, allied mental health and human services professionals, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed rehabilitation counselors, licensed mental health counselors, licensed educational psychologists, and any of their respective interns or trainees) from forcing a minor to change their sexual orientation or gender identity. This abusive practice is known as conversion therapy.

2013 An Act Relative to Healthy Youth (House Bill 450/Senate Bill 209)
Many public school districts in Massachusetts include sexuality education in the curriculum and others do not. When public schools do provide such education, however, it should be done right: it should be comprehensive, medically accurate, and age-appropriate. This act ensures that if a school in Massachusetts teaches sexuality education, it will provide students with information about abstinence, delaying sexual activity, healthy relationships and healthy behaviors free of coercion, effective contraceptive use, and sexually transmitted infections. The bill also maintains the existing state law that lets parents opt their children out of sexuality education programs.

2013 An Act Relative to LGBT Awareness Training for Aging Service Providers (House Bill 547)
While LGBTQ folks of all ages experience stigma, discrimination, and abuse, LGBTQ older adults have historically endured particularly intense homophobia and transphobia. This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum for delivery of accessible and appropriate services to LGBTQ older adults and caregivers.

2013 An Act Relative to Safe Driving (House Bill 3285; would remove immigration status-based restrictions in eligibility for state driver’s licenses and learner’s permits)
This bill would remove immigration-status-based restrictions in eligibility for state driver’s licenses and learner’s permits.

Events and Resources

Legislative Action Day (the first one was 1/17/2013 from 11am – 1pm)

Materials, reports, and bill briefings for you to review and to provide to your legislators

How to present testimony for a legislative hearing

Recent Legal Victories

An Act Relative to Gender Identity

Executive Order 526 Regarding Non-discrimination, Diversity, Equal Opportunity, and Affirmative Action

Executive Order 527 Establishing the Office of Access and Opportunity within the Executive Office of Administration and Finance