To the Editor:
As members of the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Coalition, the entity that worked to pass the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, we would like to respond to the assertion in your Nov. 17 editorial that aside from state Rep. Carl Sciortino, openly gay lawmakers were absent from the fight to pass the bill. To the contrary, their behind-the-scenes efforts were most helpful, and more importantly, very effective. The Coalition offers its sincere gratitude and appreciation to all of the openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual lawmakers for helping to ensure passage of the Transgender Equal Rights Bill: state Sen. Stan Rosenberg and state Reps. Denise Andrews, Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, Kate Hogan, Liz Malia, Sarah Peake, and of course Rep. Carl Sciortino.
The reality in politics is that much of the hard work of passing legislation gets done behind the scenes in one-on-one conversations and that’s where our openly gay elected officials worked hard. They leveraged personal and professional relationships with their State House colleagues and leadership to educate them about transgender people and the discrimination the community faces. In the run-up to the bill’s introduction in the House, they counted votes and pressed colleagues to let the legislation advance. In short, this victory would not have happened without their support and hard work all along the way and we are very grateful for their efforts.
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition
Director of Government Relations and Political Action
National Association of Social Workers, MA Chapter
Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus
GLAD Transgender Rights Project
ACLU of Massachusetts
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