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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, April 15, 2016 - Volume 44 Issue 16
Trans activists boo Massachusetts governor off stage
Section One
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Trans activists boo Massachusetts governor off stage

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Trans activists disrupted a speech by Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker on April 13, forcing him from the stage at an event for Boston LGBT business leaders.

Baker had been invited to speak at the annual Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night, hosted by Boston Spirit magazine, a local LGBT publication.

Among the crowd of 1,000 people packed into the Marriott Hotel banquet room were many activists hoping that Baker would commit publicly to signing a pending bill that would extend protections for Trans people to public accommodations.

Baker played coy, however, saying he would 'make sure I talk to all the parties involved' if the legislation comes to his desk. He also avoided saying whether he would veto the bill.

Twenty minutes into Baker's speech, activists in the crowd began to chant 'Sign the bill!' and to wave signs reading 'Trans rights now!'

Baker then walked off the stage. He did not stay to greet attendees afterwards, as event organizers had promised.

Baker, a Republican, was elected in 2014 after incumbent Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick decided not to run for a third term. Baker served in several positions in the administration of another Republican governor of Massachusetts, William Weld.

While liberal for a Republican - he has supported same-sex marriage and reproductive choice - he is a pro-business fiscal conservative.

According to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts Business Roundtable supports the bill extending protections for Trans people, as does General Electric, which recently announced it was moving its corporate headquarters from Connecticut to Boston.

Massachusetts law currently protects Trans residents against discrimination in employment, housing, credit, and union representation, but not in public accommodations, such as restrooms.

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