BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) - Transgender advocates are fighting for protected access to public accommodations like hospitals, shelters, and bathrooms.
For transgender people, some of whom were born male but live as females, they can be turned away from women's shelters, bathrooms or other public accommodations in Massachusetts and they say that's discriminatory.
They're asking the state legislature to reconsider legislation that protects their access to public accommodations based on their gender identity. Opponents of the bill say it will give biological males access to spaces for women that should be private. But supporters say it's often transgender people who are vulnerable and often victims of violence, and they should be protected.
Dan Cannity of Westfield told 22News, "It's not just that you can go into the women's room and just on a day say that you are a woman or a man, you actually have to have that gender identity."
"One of the most difficult aspects of the bill that's been proposed is how it would be enforced or how we would understand what the roles of the parties are based on the definition that's included in the bill so I don't think that bill is ready to move forward," said Senator Bruce Tarr of Gloucester.
LGBT advocates won a major victory last year when the Massachusetts Transgender Equal Rights Act became law.
It outlaws housing, employment and credit discrimination against transgender people, but public accommodations were left out.