Mass. Gov. Charlie Baker Says He'll Sign Trans Equality Bill

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker. Photo: Youtube.

(EDGE) Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told the Boston Globe Tuesday he plans on signing a transgender equality bill if he comes across his desk.

His revelation comes months after coming under fire from LGBT activists for not being clear on whether or not he'd sign the measure into law.

"We've certainly listened to a variety of points of view from many sides and have said, from the beginning, that we don't want people to be discriminated against," the Republican governor told the newspaper. "If the House bill were to pass in its current form, yeah, I would sign it."

The measure, which was approved by the Senate and is set to be passed by the House Wednesday, would allow people to use public facilities like bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond with their gender identity. The legislation would also protect trans people from discrimination in places like barber shops, malls, libraries, restaurants and other public accommodations, the Boston Globe notes.

The bill is similar to other legislations that have been nixed across the country, most notably in North Carolina and Mississippi. Those against these measures claim it will allow predators to pose as a trans person and enter bathrooms to attack women.

The Boston Globe writes: "The House version, unlike the Senate's, would require the attorney general to issue guidance on when and how action can be taken against people who assert gender identity for 'an improper purpose.' That's partly to address safety worries from opponents, House leaders say. But it's also seen as an overture to Baker and to state representatives from socially conservative districts hesitant to embrace the bill."

Baker told the newspaper he is in favor of the House bill as it's written now.

"I support the House version, which, I believe, supplies the right amount of clarity with respect to the public safety questions that other people have raised," Baker said.

For months Baker avoided taking a clear stance on the measure, though made it clear he was against discrimination against anyone.

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