MTPC Needs Your Letter For The July 9th Public Accommodations Hearing

Take action NOW for the July 9 Equal Access Bill hearing

Cross posted from the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition.

MTPC’s legislative focus is on An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and All Other Places Open to the Public (House Bill 1589/Senate Bill 643), which would add “gender identity” to existing state civil rights laws, which currently permit the exclusion of transgender people in public spaces.

How You Can Help

The hearing for the Equal Access Bill is scheduled for July 9, 2013, and WE NEED YOUR TESTIMONY. We provide a letter template below and sample letters that you can use to provide written testimony in advance of the Equal Access Bill hearing. The July 9 hearing is also open to the public (details to come), so please come out and show your support.
If you are registered to vote in the district of any of the members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary who are hearing this bill (listed below), please let them know you support Equal Access. The most helpful would be for you to meet with your legislator from the Joint Judiciary Committee in person. Please let us know if you want to meet with you legislator about the Equal Access Bill. We’re happy to help you prepare for your meeting. You can also call their office and use our calling script.
Below is a template you can use when writing a letter to your state senator or representative. Please feel free to add more about your reasons for supporting this bill or describe your own experiences of discrimination in a place of public accommodation. If you are unsure of who your state House and Senate legislators are, you can look them up by searching for your town or zip code on https://malegislature.gov/People/Search.
When your letter is complete, email it to us at jesseb@masstpc.org. We’ll take care of the rest. 

Letter template

Dear Senator Clark, Representative O’Flaherty, and members of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary,
My name is ___________________ and I live at ____________________________ [include your address (optional) and the name of your town. Optional: what’s your family situation?].   I am _____________________ [include occupation, group memberships--be short and selective].
I am writing to urge you to support An Act Relative to Equal Access in Hospitals, Public Transportation, Nursing Homes, Supermarkets, Retail Establishments, and all other places open to the public, introduced in the House by Representatives Carl Sciortino and Byron Rushing and in the Senate by Senators Ben Downing and Sonia Chang-Diaz. This proposed law would prohibit discrimination in places of public accommodation such as [list three to five types of public accommodations. Some examples are: hospitals, hotels, restaurants, stores, nursing homes, theaters, convention centers, libraries, public transportation, public streets, offices of state and local government, and polling places--see the Examples of Public Accommodations PDF for other places].
I believe this bill is important because ________________________________________ [please add your personal story or reason for supporting this bill].
With the passage of this law, Massachusetts would send a clear message to its citizens that all people are entitled to feel safe in their communities and to be offered the full protection of the law, regardless of their gender identity or expression.
By offering protection in places of public accommodation where people experience harassment and discrimination, this law would increase productivity, freedom, and safety for transgender youth and adults who are employees, consumers, residents, and students.
Please help Massachusetts join the many communities–including the states of Rhode Island, Vermont, and Maine–that already provide protection in places of public accommodation on the basis of gender identity and/or expression.
[Write a closing sentence that sums up what you believe this bill will accomplish and/or how your life would be better when this bill passes.]
[Your Name]
When your letter is complete, email it to us at jesseb@masstpc.org. We’ll take care of the rest. 


Download PDF about Testifying at a Public Hearing (MGLPC)
Download Oral/Written Testimony Worksheet PDF

1 comment:

Justine Valinotti said...

Hi! I've cross-posted this on my blog.

I hope you had a great holiday weekend!