Massachusetts Senate President Stan Rosenberg says senators will debate a public accommodations bill next month that would expand protections for transgender people.
The Amherst Democrat said in a speech to Boston business leaders Wednesday that failure to act could have "disastrous" implications for the state's economy. He referenced the outcry over new laws in other states, including a North Carolina law that among other things requires transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding to the sex listed on their birth certificate.
The Massachusetts bill would expand a 2011 law banning discrimination against transgender people in the workplace and in housing by also banning discrimination in restaurants, malls, restrooms and other public accommodations.
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Republican Gov. Charlie Baker says he supports the current law but has yet to endorse the proposed changes.