Mass. Senate debating transgender rights bill

News

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate is debating a bill to ban discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations.

Democratic Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz says it’s past time for Massachusetts to stay true to its history as a civil rights pioneer and pass the bill.

Seventeen states have similar laws.

Democratic Senate President Stan Rosenberg also backs the bill, which would bar discrimination in restaurants, malls and other public locations.

The bill would also let transgender people use bathrooms that correspond with their gender identity.

Rosenberg says transgender men are men and transgender women are women.

Opponents say the bill would violate the privacy rights of girls and women.

Massachusetts Family Institute President Andrew Beckwith says women will have no protection against being exposed to naked men in locker rooms if the bill passes.

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