Massachusetts Is Expanding Transgender Rights, And Governors Around The Country Should Take Note

It turns out that not everyone is an asshole. Who knew? Really, though, the 11 governors suing Obama over transgender rights should take a hint from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on how to act proper. While states like Texas, Utah, and West Virginia (all the usual suspects of ridiculous bigotry) are taking action against the Obama administration for its transgender bathroom directive, Massachusetts is expanding rights and protections for transgender individuals, under a Republican governor no less. In fact, since 2011, the state has had anti-discriminations laws for transgender people when it comes to housing, education, and employment. This new order will extend protections to bathrooms and locker rooms.

Can we get a hallelujah? I mean, really, it feels icky to even be excited about this, because it should just be that way anywhere. It’s like congratulating your SO for not cheating on you. Like, just don’t fucking do that anyway. But while other states and politicians like Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Company are throwing hissy fits about extending human beings their civil rights, it’s refreshing to see some states do the right thing by making it legal to use whatever bathroom you feel comfortable using. It’s sad we even have to do this.

According to The New York Times, although it’s a Democratic run state, some Massachusetts Republicans who opposed the original bill in 2011 are actually supporting the new law. Representative Sheila C. Harrington told her fellow Republicans to buck up and just support the bill, while pointing to an image of a judge apologizing for the Salem witch trials, no less. All of those Republican governors suing the White House should take note. You don’t have to do this.

Apparently, comparing the dissenters to people who used to burn women just because they thought they were crazy wasn’t even the most heated moment. The representatives fought for seven whole hours before the bill passed 116 to 36. Afterwards, those 36 were reportedly yelling “shame on you!” for giving away the “privacy of 99 percent of people,” as Republican representative Marc T. Lombardo said. Seriously? This can’t go on much longer.

Transgender people don’t get a lot of good news these days, and the struggle for public accommodations rights (and all of their other rights, of course) is going to wage on for some time, it looks like. It’s excruciating, but states will eventually fall in line. Until then, even major cities like New York City, can take the lead, as Mayor Bill de Blasio did recently by signing an executive order that allows transgendered individuals to use their preferred bathroom in all public places, even museums. It didn’t extend to schools, which are already supposed to uphold students’ rights.

Every time a city or a state signs an anti-discrimination law regarding transgendered bathroom use, it’s a step forward and shows The Eleven that they’re wrong. Come on every other state: don’t be assholes.