updated 08-19-2013

Equal Access in Public Accommodations


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)

MTPC is committed to getting public accommodations protections for our transgender youth, adults, and families. The final version of the 2011 Act Relative to Gender Identity, originally filed as Transgender Equal Rights Bill, passed by the legislature did not include protections within public accommodations section of the nondiscrimination laws.

MTPC and the 108 members of Transgender Equal Rights Coalition, including MassEquality, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), National Association of Social Workers (NASW), ACLU of Massachusetts, MassNOW, Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, Massachusetts LGBTQ Bar Association, Jobs with Justice, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Interfaith Committee for Transgender Equality look forward to working with policy makers and community supporters in getting full civil rights for transgender youth, adults, and families.

Everyone Should Have Equal Access to Public Accommodations

Check our our page about what public accommodations are and why it’s important for all people to have equal access and protection from discrimination. The 2013 Equal Access Legislative Brief also provides more information you can provide to your legislators.

EAB InfoGraphic


How You Can Help

WE NEED YOUR STORIES about discrimination you have experienced in public places.

Also, if you are registered to vote in the district of any of the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary who are hearing the Equal Access bill (listed below), please let them know you support Equal Access. The most helpful would be for you to meet with your legislator in person. Please let us know if you want to meet with you legislator about the Equal Access Bill. We’re happy to help you prepare for your meeting. You can also call their office and use our calling script.

Members of the Join Judiciary Committee in the Senate: Katherine Clark, Senate Chair; Gale D. Candaras, Senate Vice Chair; William N. Brownsberger; Patricia D. Jehlen; John F. Keenan; Richard J. Ross. In the House: Eugene L. O’Flaherty, House Chair; Christopher M. Markey, House Vice Chair; Bruce J. AyersClaire D. CroninSean CurranColleen M. Garry; Sheila C. Harrington; Carlos HenriquezKevin J. Murphy; Jeffrey N. Roy; Daniel B. Winslow.

About the Legislation

An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public. Also known as the Equal Access Bill.

Public accommodations protections makes explicit the Commonwealth’s commitment to providing people of diverse gender identities and expressions equal protection under the law, and guarantee transgender and gender non-conforming people the opportunity to participate in and contribute to their communities and to the local economy. This bill is about fairness and all residents having the same access to public places.

This bill was filed by:

Rep. Carl Sciortino & Rep. Byron Rushing
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz & Sen. Benjamin Downing
55 other senators and representative have signed on as cosponsors:

Rep. Denise Andrews Rep. Cory Atkins Rep. Ruth B. Balser
Sen. Michael Barrett Sen. William N. Brownsberger Rep. Paul Brodeur
Rep. Gailanne M. Cariddi Sen. Harriette L. Chandler Rep. Cheryl A. Coakley-Rivera
Rep. Thomas P. Conroy Sen. Cynthia S. Creem Rep. Marjorie C. Decker
Sen. Sal N. DiDomenico Sen. Kenneth J. Donnelly Sen. James B. Eldridge
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier Rep. Gloria L. Fox Rep. Sean Garballey
Rep. Kenneth I. Gordon Rep. Danielle W. Gregoire Rep. Jonathan Hecht
Rep. Carlos Henriquez Rep. Paul R. Heroux Rep. Kate Hogan
Rep. Kevin G. Honan Sen. Patricia D. Jehlen Rep. Jay R. Kaufman
Rep. Mary S. Keefe Sen. John F. Keenan Rep. Kay Khan
Rep. Peter V. Kocot Rep. John J. Lawn, Jr. Rep. Jason M. Lewis
Rep. David Paul Linsky Rep. Brian R. Mannal Rep. Elizabeth A. Malia
Sen. Thomas M. McGee Rep. Aaron Michlewitz Rep. James J. O’Day
Rep. Sarah K. Peake Rep. Denise Provost Rep. David M. Rogers
Sen. Stanley C. Rosenberg Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez Rep. Tom Sannicandro
Rep. John W. Scibak Rep. Frank I. Smizik Sen. Karen E. Spilka
Sen. Ellen Story Rep. Benjamin Swan Rep. Aaron Vega
Rep. Chris Walsh Rep. Martha M. Walz Sen. James T. Welch
Sen. Daniel A. Wolf

Materials about the Equal Access Bill and Public Accommodations

Have You Experienced Discrimination in Public Accommodations?

If you have experienced the denial of service, mistreatment, or where asked unfair questions in a public establishment or service, please fill out MTPC’s Report Discrimination Form.