Robyn is on the Board of Directors of MassEquality. In the past four years, we have:
• Passed statewide transgender nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, education and credit;
•Passed statewide anti-bullying protections for LGBTQ students;
•Secured the creation of the nation’s first statewide commissions to address issues facing homeless LGBTQ youth and older LGBTQ adults;
•Secured groundbreaking action from Governor Deval Patrick prohibiting transgender insurance exclusions in public and private insurance;
•Helped to improve prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS through passage of legislation streamlining HIV/AIDS testing;
•Doubled the number of the Commonwealth’s cities that prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public accommodations;
•Secured over $3 million in the state budget for programs supporting LGBTQ youth, older LGBTQ adults and survivors of intimate partner violence;
•Built strong coalition relationships to address LGBTQ justice and equality across issues and communities with powerful allies such as the Chelsea Collaborative, Community Catalyst and the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless;
•Generated over 2,500 volunteer hours and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to successfully elect over 80 local, state and federal pro-LGBTQ candidates to office;
•Made more than 500,000 contacts with elected officials through email, calls, postcard campaigns and in-district visits;
•Increased our number of financial supporters by 60%; and
•Raised more than $4 million to support advocacy, public education and political efforts to advance LGBTQ equality across the Commonwealth.
As an organization with a legacy of achieving the impossible, we don’t plan to rest on the breadth and depth of these recent accomplishments. Rather, we see them as evidence of how much more we can do together with the support of people like you. Together, we will win public accommodations protections for our transgender communities. We will ensure LGBTQ elders have access to competent care. We will protect our young people from bullying in schools and ensure that their curriculum includes the information they need to make healthy choices. We will promote the care and protection of our Commonwealth’s homeless youth, approximately 40 percent of whom are LGBTQ. We will challenge the silence and stigma attached to same-sex intimate partner violence and HIV/AIDS. We will advance solutions that take into account the incredible disparities that LGBTQ communities of color and transgender communities experience across issues.
We need to hold the ground we have gained by making sure that supportive legislators are re-elected and by making sure a new amendment is not re-introduced. MassEquality works to ensure that every lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender person in Massachusetts is protected from cradle to grave—with equal rights and opportunities in school, in marriage and family life, at work and in retirement.
“People often ask why Massachusetts is so out of step with the rest of the Nation. And I say that we are as out of step today as we were at the village green of Lexington and Concord, we are as out of step today as we were when Boston was the center of the abolitionist movement, or as out as step as we were when the first woman’s rights convention convened in my home town of Worcester. Massachusetts has always been the conscience of the nation, that is our role.” – Massachusetts State Senator Ed Augustusat the Constitutional Convention, September 14, 2005