In November of 2011, Massachusetts became the 16th state to add non-discrimination laws for gender identity in the areas of employment, housing, K-12 public education, and credit. Additionally, Massachusetts Hate Crimes laws were also updated to include gender identity. This law is known as An Act Relative to Gender Identity.
The Definition of Gender Identity
“Gender identity” shall mean a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person’s core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose.
This new legislation did not extend protections in public accommodations. Therefore, legislation will need to filed in order to amend this section of the non-discrimination laws. MTPC, along with our LGBT and allied partners, plan to file and launch a campaign for public accommodations protection in 2013, the next legislative session in Massachusetts.
Today, 16 states, Washington D.C., and over 140 counties and cities have passed legislation to ban this discrimination in their communities — including Boston, Cambridge, Northampton, and Amherst, and now state wide in Massachusetts.
About the New Law:
This legislation makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of gender identity in the areas of:
Amends the definition of hate crimes to include crimes motivated by prejudice against a person’s gender identity.