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Mass. transgender rights bill could head to vote

November 14, 2011

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BOSTON—Transgender individuals would win additional legal protections under a bill that could come up for a vote in the Massachusetts House this week.

Transgender advocates have long pushed for the bill that would add "gender identity or expression" to the state's nondiscrimination laws.

Advocates said Monday that they expected the House to debate a version of the bill that would bar workplace discrimination against transgender people.

Critics have said the bill will lead to a breakdown in privacy in restrooms, locker rooms and other single-gender facilities. They have labeled the legislation the "bathroom bill" in radio ads opposing the measure, which they said would also cost businesses.

Supporters said the public accommodations portion of the bill will be dropped to bolster support for the measure.

Gov. Deval Patrick has said he would sign the bill.