Massachusetts House to debate transgender rights bill

FILE - In this Monday, May 2, 2016 file photo, a flag representing the transgender community, foreground, flies next to the Massachusetts state flag and a U.S. flag in front of Boston City Hall.
A flag representing the transgender community, foreground, flies next to the Massachusetts state flag and a U.S. flag on May 2 in front of Boston City Hall. –Steven Senne / AP

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House is preparing to debate a bill that would ban discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations like restaurants, malls, and other locations.

The Senate has already approved its version of the bill, which expands a 2011 state law that prohibits discrimination against transgender people in the workplace and housing.

The House is expected to debate the bill on Wednesday.

The House version would allow the state attorney general to provide “guidance or regulations” to law enforcement about legal action against “any person who asserts gender identity for an improper purpose.”

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker hasn’t said whether he would sign the measure.

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If the bill becomes law, Massachusetts would join 17 other states and the District of Columbia in banning discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations.