GENDER IDENTITY NOW A PROTECTED CATEGORY IN MASSACHUSETTS - November 30, 2011

by Attorney Leslie Lockard
The Law Office of Leslie Lockard, P.C.
P.O. Box 537
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel. 508 850-9800
FAX 508 850-9801
Email: Llockard@leslielockard.com
Website: www.LeslieLockard.com

Written November 30, 2011

Newly enacted legislation, which will take effect on July 1, 2012, makes Massachusetts the 22nd state to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity. The law protects transgender people from discrimination in housing, education, credit and employment, and from victimization by hate crimes. As to employment, the law amends the state anti-discrimination statute to add “gender identity” as a new protected category. This means that people who sincerely identify themselves as members of the opposite sex from the one into which they were born will now be protected from discrimination and harassment in employment, similarly to employees in other protected categories such as sex, race, sexual orientation, national origin and religion. “Gender identity” is defined in the new law as:

"a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person's core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose."

It is estimated that about 33,000 transgender people live in Massachusetts.








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Contact Info

Attorney Leslie Lockard
The Law Office of Leslie Lockard, P.C.
P.O. Box 537
Walpole, MA 02081
Tel. 508 850-9800
FAX 508 850-9801
Email: Llockard@leslielockard.com
Website: www.LeslieLockard.com