Massachusetts Transgender Civil Rights Bill fails Freedoms and Liberties
(Transadvocate.com) -- The Massachusetts legislature recently passed the Transgender Civil Rights Bill with a vital portion of it carved out. Public accommodations were stripped from the bill to assure passage. Public accommodations protections are explained in the Americans with Disabilities Act this way: (A) an inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a building that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as the residence of such proprietor; (B) a restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink; (C) a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;
The following private entities are considered public accommodations for purposes of this subchapter, if the operations of such entities affect commerce—
(D) an auditorium, convention center, lecture hall, or other place of public gathering;
(E) a bakery, grocery store, clothing store, hardware store, shopping center, or other sales or rental establishment;
(F) a laundromat, dry-cleaner, bank, barber shop, beauty shop, travel service, shoe repair service, funeral parlor, gas station, office of an accountant or lawyer, pharmacy, insurance office, professional office of a health care provider, hospital, or other service establishment;
(G) a terminal, depot, or other station used for specified public transportation;
(H) a museum, library, gallery, or other place of public display or collection;
(I) a park, zoo, amusement park, or other place of recreation;
(J) a nursery, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, or postgraduate private school, or other place of education;
(K) a day care center, senior citizen center, homeless shelter, food bank, adoption agency, or other social service center establishment; and
(L) a gymnasium, health spa, bowling alley, golf course, or other place of exercise or recreation.
Public accommodations are vital, in that they prohibit discrimination in the daily lives of transgender people. The religious conservatives will brand public accommodations dangerous because restrooms are part of public accommodation protections. They claim that women and children would be harmed if this bill passed with public accommodation protections in them. The only problem with that claim is that it is factually baseless. But this hateful meme does have steam, mostly because the education of both legislators and the public hasn’t been done.
Why? Some people will blame Gunner Scott and the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition (MTPC), but I think that criticism is misplaced. I know that Scott has worked tirelessly for a full bill.
Did Mass Equality do enough? Not by a long shot. There was no lobbying of Republicans by Mass Equality (in fact only citizen lobbyists were the only people to lobby Republicans in the Massachusetts legislature), and they didn’t make public accommodation protections a focus of their phone banking, even though that’s been a sticking point for years. Minus their phone banking, they’ve done very little to help passage of this bill.
But in the end, you only need to look to yourself for blame. If you champion supposed “LGBT” Gill/Arcus foundation supported organizations that do very little in the way of full inclusion of transgender people, you are to blame. If you hold on to the fallacy that we are all equals in the “LGBT” community, you are to blame.
We will continue to to be the ugly step-sisters of the LGB, until we stand up for ourselves. Until we build our own organizations with our own money and our own advocates, we will continue to receive 2nd class rights and be 2nd class citizens.
The passing of this bill doesn’t just effect citizens of Massachusetts. From here on out this will be the standard issue “equality” for transequality. Maryland, look out… this will be your fate.
I’d love to blame GayInc, but it isn’t their fault. If you need someone to blame, look in the mirror. You are the reason that this is “good enough.”
(A) an inn, hotel, motel, or other place of lodging, except for an establishment located within a building that contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and that is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as the residence of such proprietor;
(B) a restaurant, bar, or other establishment serving food or drink;
(C) a motion picture house, theater, concert hall, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment;