The ACLU has a long history of defending the LGBTQ community. The ACLU of Massachusetts was proud to play a key role in establishing marriage equality in Massachusetts in 2004. At the national level, ACLU client Edie Windsor defeated the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
In 2011, the Massachusetts legislature passed an ACLU-backed law that made it illegal to discriminate against transgender people in employment, credit, education, and housing. But the fight for trans equality in the state didn’t end there.
As a leading member of the Freedom For All Massachusetts coalition, the ACLU of Massachusetts worked to pass legislation in 2016 to protect transgender people from discrimination in public places, like hotels, restaurants, public transportation, hospitals, and more. This law is particularly important for trans women of color, who are disproportionately impacted by anti-transgender discrimination and violence.
In November 2018, Massachusetts voters upheld protections for transgender people at the ballot. The victory affirms the 2016 anti-discrimination law. As a member of the Yes on 3 Executive Committee, the ACLU committed $400,000 to support and empower transgender and nonbinary people through the campaign.
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