The Massachusetts House of Representatives’ version of the Transgender Public Accommodations Bill, HB4343, overwhelmingly passed with a vote of 116-36. However, the version that passed in the House of Representatives varies slightly from the version that passed in the Senate a few weeks ago. As a next step, both chambers must now agree on identical language, through a conference committee, before the proposed legislation makes its way to Governor Baker’s desk.
The House version, like the Senate version of the bill, provides the transgender community protections from discrimination at public accommodations like restaurants and malls, and allows people to use the restroom or locker room that matches their gender identities. Unlike the Senate version of the bill, the House version of the bill includes a provision that the Attorney General’s office issue guidance for potential legal action against a person who “asserts gender identity for an improper purpose.”
On Tuesday, Governor Baker indicated that he would sign the House version of the bill if it reached his desk. Senate President Stan Rosenberg said that he is open to the House formulation of the bill.
The Transgender Public Accommodations Bill remains legislation to watch, but it certainly seems well on its way to becoming law.