Easy activism opportunity: Weight/height discrimination bill in the Massachusetts state house

So, I meant to post about this earlier, but better late than never!

Mycroft Masada Holmes has info about the bill:

The Massachusetts height and weight anti-discrimination bill is back!  And it has a hearing on Tuesday June 25th.  Please read, submit testimony, attend, contact your legislators, spread the word, etc.!  MA voters are most needed but everything helps.  

An Act Making Discrimination on the Basis of Height and Weight Unlawful (House Bill 1758) has been re-filed.  It would amend MA state laws prohibiting discrimination in the areas of employment, housing, and public accommodations by adding “height” and “weight” to the list of legally protected ‘classes’.  The lead sponsor is Representative Byron Rushing, a longtime and amazing social justice leader, including for transgender rights and in the Episcopal Church (the Trans Equal Rights Law passed in November 2011, the Trans Equal Access Bill was filed this January). 

Also, Marilyn Wann just passed along a link to the bill with the following note:

Today is the day to email your support of a height/weight anti-discrimination law in Massachusetts: david.vanderwoude@mahouse.gov. Even one sentence HELPS!!!

I just send an email to Mr. VanDerWoude, the legislative aide to the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Byron Rushing.I also emailed my Representative, Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

If you’re in Massachusetts, you can find out who your State Representative is here. Send them an email and let them know why you support the bill!

4 thoughts on “Easy activism opportunity: Weight/height discrimination bill in the Massachusetts state house

  1. This sounds like a good thing, but I have to wonder – unlike race, sex and so on height and weight do influence your ability to do certain jobs as well as other people. For instance, a 1.50m and 50kg person probably isn’t going to be that good at jobs that require you to carry around people, especially people twice or three times that weight, right? So do you know how cases like that will factor into this?

    • That’s a good question. I don’t know how jobs like that would factor into this bill, but I would guess that either 1.) the bill would make exceptions for certain types of jobs or 2.) those types of jobs would have to find a non-weight-based way of measuring people’s ability to do that job. I hope it’s #2, since some tiny people are surprisingly strong.

      I think jobs that require carrying around people or other feats of strength could require a fitness test, and therefore select people on their ability to do the actual work rather than their body size.

      • Yeah, #2 sounds like a good idea – considering that women have been barred from lots of jobs in the past simply because of some idea that ALL women are weaker than EVERY man, it absolutely makes sense to require a fitness test or something similar – I guess that’s just like requiring you to have a degree in law to work in a law firm or something like that.

  2. Pingback: Mass. people, don’t forget to vote in the special election tomorrow! | Tutus And Tiny Hats

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