BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts legislature could soon decide whether transgender people can legally use the restroom that matches their gender identity. Members of the House and Senate Judiciary Committee voted to move an expanded transgender rights bill from the committee to a formal vote.
Two western Massachusetts lawmakers sit on the judiciary committee. Springfield State Representative Carlos Gonzalez voted to advance the transgender bill to the House for a full vote. Westfield State Representative John Velis reserved his right to vote citing public safety concerns.
The proposed law would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public places. It would also allow transgender people to use the restroom of their choice, regardless of their gender at birth. The state Senate plans to take up the bill in two weeks.
“This is as much about being able to be served in a restaurant as it is a public accommodations relating to restrooms and locker rooms,” Senate President Stanley Rosenberg told 22News, adding that “We have very strong support in the Senate.”
Republican Governor Charlie Baker has yet to state his position on the issue.