Cambridge Human Rights Commission Endorses Gender Protective Legislation

Cambridge, MA, September 12: At an evening meeting of the Cambridge Human Rights Commission, the Commission voted unaimously to endorse a proposed amendment to the Cambridge Human Rights Ordinance. The amendment would add protection from discrimination on the basis of gender to the other protections provided by the ordinance. In order for the amendment to become law, it must be approved by a majority vote of the Cambridge City Council. Such a vote is expected before the end of the year, and a majority of the city councilors have expressed an intention to vote in favor of the amendment.

The proposed amendment adds "gender" to the list of protected classes, including sex, race, religion, etc. It also adds the following definition of gender:

"Gender" means the actual or perceived appearance, expression, or identity of a person with respect to masculinity and femininity.

Since the ordinance provides for the stablishment of same sex facilities such as dormitories, the amendment would also add the following definition of "same sex":

"Same sex" means occupying the same social and identity roles as another with respect to being male or female.

The amendment proposal is accompanied by extensive notes which provide detailed explanation of the intent and guidelines for it's interpretation and implementation. To read these notes, click here.