Massachusetts Votes to 'Celebrate Diversity of Humanity' with Bathroom Access
Beckwith said Rosenberg must believe then that men like Bruce Jenner, who changed his name without removing his penis, is now a woman, not a man.
“This is obviously false, if not borderline delusional,” Beckwith said, “and demonstrates that the leader of our Commonwealth’s upper legislative chamber lacks a basic understanding of the significance and purpose of reproductive anatomy.”
There was an effort to add an amendment that would've called for the state attorney general to provide guidance on how to handle sexual predators — men — who attempted to get into women’s restrooms by pretending to be transgender.
However, that was defeated. Proponents said sexual predators were already subjected to arrest and prosecution in Massachusetts, so there was no need to add it to the bill.
When Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz introduced the legislation in January the Democrat pointed out Massachusetts was the first state in America to enact a law prohibiting racial discrimination in public accommodations like restrooms in 1865.
Massachusetts was also the first state to legalize same-sex marriage.
“That’s why it is difficult to fathom how, in 2016, we are still fighting for public accommodations protections and full equality for transgender Bay Staters,” Chang-Diaz said.
“Public accommodations are fundamental to equal rights in our society. They are the foundations upon which our everyday lives are carried out: where we eat when we’re hungry, where we go for help when we’re sick, and where we spend our hard-earned money when we shop, play, and travel,” she added.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has not said if he will sign the bill, which still must be approved by the House. But he is known as being a liberal Republican. Baker also dropped a rather loud hint in April that he would not veto the legislation.
“I take tremendous pride in the fact that on many of these issues I’ve been on what I would describe as the right side of history,” Baker said during an interview on WGBH-FM.
There was some pressure brought to bear on Baker by the LGBT community. He was booed at an LGBT networking event, and an LGBT business group took back Baker’s invitation to one of their events.
Beyond the dispute over whether transgendered men and women are really the gender they have chosen, even without the help of a surgeon, people opposed to the bathroom bill are also afraid of what’s next.
“Progressives (are) pushing a radical social agenda upon us,” said Rep. Jim Lyons (R), who was one of only two “no” votes on the House Judiciary Committee on HB 4253. “"This is a very, very serious bill that we have to fight back and prevent this from taking place, because they are trying to basically change society.”
Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R) told the Worcester Business Journal she was afraid the legislation would make “bathrooms and locker rooms a free-for-all” for people with “nefarious intentions.”
Kaeley Triller, who wrote of her survival of a sexual assault for the Federalist, told reporters during a Massachusetts Family Institute press conference the day before the Senate vote that there should be “reasonable accommodations” for transgender people.
“But that doesn't need to look like stripping voices from people who are also already vulnerable,” Triller said. “It doesn't need to look like telling women that they need to get over it."
However, what opponents to the Bathroom Bill are missing, asserted Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus, is “transgender people are discriminated against every time they walk out the door.”
“They don’t call the police,” Isaacson said. “They suffer in silence. This bill will solve that problem.”