Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick has long been a supporter of transgender rights, and supports pending legislation that would add gender identity to all of the state's nondiscrimination laws.
The state's legislative session ends tonight at midnight, and the transgender rights bill has been stuck in the Judiciary Committee since January 2009. The bill enjoys a majority of cosponsors in both houses, meaning that if it was brought to a vote, it would pass with flying colors.
For the past month, the legislature has been focused on passing a casino bill that would reportedly boost the economy. Both the House and the Senate have passed differing bills, but efforts to compromise on the differences have failed thusfar, with the governor threatening to veto any bill sent his way that allows for slot machines.
Yesterday evening, Gov. Patrick said that he would be willing to allow for one slot machine parlor if the legislature acted on a number of bills that he would like to see passed, including a bill to streamline wind farm development and a bill protecting criminal rights.
Demand that Governor Patrick adds the transgender rights bill to the list. It looks like Massachusetts will be getting casinos. Let's make sure they get transgender rights, too.
A majority of legislators in both houses have signed on to the bill as cosponsors, yet the bill has seen no action since its introduction.
If the governor demands that the bill comes to the floor in order for his compromise, this civil rights bill can finally become law and Massachusetts will once again be the nation's leader in equality under the law.