Governor Baker signs transgender anti-discrimination bill into law

Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law protecting transgender individuals against discrimination in places of public accommodation earlier this month, the Governor’s office said in a press release.

The bill, An Act relative to transgender anti-discrimination, was a compromise between the House and Senate, Baker’s office said. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination will put regulations in place to enforce the law’s provisions.

“No one should be discriminated against in Massachusetts because of their gender identity,” Governor Baker said in a statement. “This compromise legislation extends additional protections to the Commonwealth’s transgender community, and includes language to address the public safety concerns expressed by some by requiring the Attorney General to issue regulations to protect against people abusing the law”.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito also hailed the bill for extending further protections against discrimination to the transgender community.

“We thank the Legislature for sending us a compromise proposal that assures additional protections from discrimination based on gender identity to Massachusetts’ transgender community and provides for guidance from the Attorney General to address issues of public safety that have been raised by some,” Lt. Governor Polito said in a statement.

The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination and the Attorney General’s office will have until September 1, to issue their recommendations, regulations, or guidance, Baker’s office said. The law is scheduled to take effect on October 1, the release said.