Advancing LGBT* Equality

To everyone marching in or observing the parade this weekend, Happy Pride!  I am proud to represent a district that considers the rights and wellbeing of members of the LGBT* community a top priority.

On June 6th a Bill I co-sponsored to ban harmful conversion therapy in Massachusetts was heard before the Joint Committee on Children, Families and People with Disabilities. I want to thank the courageous survivors who testified before the committee and constituents who organized their friends in support of this Bill.  As I wrote in my testimony, passing this legislation now is especially pertinent given the rollback of LGBT* protections at the federal level.

I also wanted to let everyone know about the entire the Mass Equality agenda, as I have co-sponsored each of the following items:

S 346/H 2892 - An Act Relative to LGBT Awareness Training for Aging Services Providers

This bill would require the Executive Office of Elder Affairs to develop a curriculum for delivery of accessible and appropriate services to LGBTQ older adults and caregivers. The House and senate version of the Bill have been referred to the  Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, hearing date TBA.

S 234/H 2053 - An Act Relative to Healthy Youth

This bill would ensure that a school electing to teach sex education selects a curriculum that’s medically accurate, age-appropriate and comprehensive.  The House version of the Bill has been referred to the  Joint Committee on Health Care Financing after a favorable report from the Committee on Education, hearing date TBA. The Senate version of the Bill has been sent to Senate Ways and Means.

S 1186/ H 3249 - An Act Relative to HIV Screening and Prevention

This bill lifts barriers to accessing HIV and STI prevention, screening, and treatment by expanding access to prevention services for minors; studying out-of-network insurance coverage of HIV/STI screening services; and updating HIV screening and record-sharing laws.  The House and Senate versions of the Bill have been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health, hearing date TBA.

H 2468 - An Act Relative to the Health Care of Minors

This bill would ensure homeless youth are more easily able to prove they are managing their own financial affairs as currently required to consent to medical and dental care. After a favorable report from the Joint Committee on Public Health, the Bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, hearing date TBA.

S 499/H 536 - An Act Advancing Contraceptive Coverage and Economic Security in our State

This bill would ensure Massachusetts women can access affordable birth control, require insurers to cover all birth control products, and keep insurers from interfering in womens’ health decisions. The House and Senate versions of the Bill have been referred to the Joint Committee on Financial Services, hearing date TBA.

If you have thoughts on this agenda or any other matter, please feel free to contact me at Mike.Connolly@MAHouse.gov or give me a call at (617) 722-2060. Thank you!

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