SENATE APPROVED BILL ON MASS COMMISSION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

By Bob Katzen

The House gave initial approval to a Senate-approved bill requiring the MCAD Advisory Board to include representatives of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth (LGBTQ) community. Final approval is necessary in both branches before the measure goes to Gov. Charlie Baker.

The MCAD investigates and prosecutes complaints of discrimination that occur in employment, housing, public places, access to education, lending and credit.

Current law requires that representatives of several groups be on the board including labor organizations; minority racial, ethnic and linguistic groups; women; elderly and handicapped persons; and recipients of public assistance.

Sponsor Sen. Adam Hinds (D- Pittsfield) said that discrimination still persists against the LGBTQ community, but they are underrepresented on the MCAD Advisory Board. “This legislation is a logical fix, and its implementation will be significant,” continued Hinds. “This simple change to the board’s membership will go a long way in ensuring these voices are included in future deliberations.”

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