Back to Beacon Hill – by Ethan Jacobs – Associate Editor

The transgender community and its allies will return to Beacon Hill July 14 for a hearing before the Judiciary Committee on a bill to add trans-inclusive language to the state’s non-discrimination and hate crimes laws. The hearing will mark the second time the committee hears testimony on the bill, known this session as House Bill 1728 (H. 1728); the judiciary held a hearing last session, but the bill died in committee. In the legislature as a whole LGBT advocates have numbers on their side, with a majority of the House and Senate signed on to the bill as co-sponsors, but in order for the legislation to advance it must win a vote in the judiciary, and it is unclear whether it has the votes. Arline Isaacson, co-chair of the Massachusetts Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and one of the advocates coordinating testimony for the bill’s supporters, declined to give a head count of votes on the committee, but she said advocates have their work cut out for them.