MA Adds Gender Identity to Discrimination Protections of State Workers

February 22, 2011 ( – Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has signed an executive order that would ban state agencies from making employment decisions based on gender identity.

According to the Boston Herald, the executive order revises an existing order, adding the words “gender identity or expression” to the state’s non-discrimination statutes, which also include: race, color, age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, ancestry, national origin, disability, veteran’s status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background. It covers all state agencies in the executive branch of government along as well as companies or organizations that contract with the state.  

State Representative Byron Rushing (D-Boston) said he believes most stage agencies are already welcoming to transgender workers, and the most significant changes will occur in state contracting, according to the news report.  

The Boston Globe reports that Arline Isaacson of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus praised Patrick for signing the executive order but called for legislation that would ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the private sector as well.