Massachusetts Votes to 'Celebrate Diversity of Humanity' with Bathroom Access

Massachusetts could join 17 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their chosen gender, rather than their birth gender, before the summer of 2016 is over.

The Massachusetts Senate approved the Public Accommodations bill, SB 735, and sent it on to the House on May 12.

“I am deeply proud of the MA Senate for reaffirming our commitment to value and celebrate the diversity of humanity,” Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg wrote on his Facebook page.

“I'm very hopeful that this will become the law of our land as soon as possible. Every day without equal protection under the law for transgender people is another day we tolerate discrimination, and one more day is far too many,” he added.

Andrew Beckwith, the president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, said that was close to crazy talk.

But Joe Lemay, the father of a 6-year-old transgender boy, Jacob, who was in the Senate Gallery to watch the debate, said Massachusetts has nothing to worry about.

“There are other states where these protections are in place, and it is not exactly a pandemonium of perversion or anything crazy going on there,” Lemay told WCVB-TV.

Beckwith said the problem with Senate Bill 735, and its companion, HB 4253, is the legislation would violate privacy rights of those who don’t want to shower or use the bathroom with people born of the opposite sex.

“The Bathroom Bill will force women to undress or shower in the presence of men. This violates a fundamental right to personal privacy,” Beckwith said.

In the days before the vote, Sen. Rosenberg said the idea “passage of the Public Accommodations bill will bring 'an unwanted male presence' into women's rooms is erroneous.”

“Transgender men are men, and transgender women are women,” Rosenberg said.