Massachusetts House Passes Bill Mandating Gender Neutral Bathrooms in All Stores
It’s no surprise that Massachusetts is at the forefront of the liberal agenda, considering they were the first state to legalize gay marriage in 2004. Now, they’re trying to be ahead of the perceived curve on the trans-gender debate.
The Massachusetts House passed Bill H. 4343 on Wednesday, “An Act Relative to Trans-Gender Anti-Discrimination” in a 116-36 vote.
But it’s more than just a bathroom bill.
First, the law mandates that state legal documents that specify a person’s gender must include gender identity as well as sex.
The bill also requires private businesses within the state to allow customers to use the bathroom of their choosing, mandating that an “entity which provides goods and services to the public…shall grant to all persons admission to and full enjoyment of [bathrooms]… consistent with the person’s gender identity.”
Lastly, the bill names the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination as the agency in charge of enforcing legal action against those who “asserts gender identity for improper use.”
However how the agency plans to do this is unclear, as proposed amendments to exempt bathrooms primarily used by minors and public locker rooms/showers from this bill was rejected. Amendments requiring proof of medical transition, and barring registered Level II and Level III sex offenders from using any facility also failed.
Feel safe? Good.
The state Senate passed a similar bill earlier this month in a wide 33-4 vote, and Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has already said he would sign the bill into law if it passed the House. If so, the regulations are going to officially take effect Jan. 1, 2017.
So for anyone in Massachusetts, there’s still time to move.