Patrick orders protections for transgender state workers, applicants – By Kyle Cheney – State House News Service

Gov. Deval Patrick moved today to prohibit all state agencies from making employment decisions based on gender identity, delighting transgender advocates who have failed to gain traction on statewide protections for years.

Patrick signed an executive order quietly – the event didn’t appear on his public schedule and his press office issued no statement on the signing – but advocates for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights roamed the capitol hallways Thursday afternoon hailing the decision, saying it would lay the groundwork for adopting legislation to expand protections for all transgender residents of Massachusetts.