State Rep. Velis sends letters to DAs regarding transgender bill

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Westfield State Representative John Velis told 22News on Friday, saying his office is getting flooded with calls, emails and letters about the transgender public accommodations bill. That’s why he sent a letter to the Massachusetts District Attorneys Association, asking them to take a stand on the transgender issue.

The proposed law would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public places, and would allow them to use the restroom of their choice. Representative Velis wants law enforcement officials to decide whether such a law would pose a threat to public safety.

Speaking over the phone, Velis said he was surprised the DA’s weren’t asked for input earlier. “It’s the DA’s who are in charge of the prosecution and, in essence, the ones who are in charge of looking out for our public safety,” Velis said. “We need to know.”

The state Senate passed a similar bill last week by a 33 to 4 vote. House Speaker Robert DeLeo said that the House plans to take up the issue some time in June.

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