As Israeli-Americans, we face multiple forms of discrimination: anti-Semitism, anti-immigrant bias, color-based prejudice, and national origin discrimination. The movement to boycott Israel purposefully conflates protests of the Israeli government to justify their discrimination of Israeli-Americans, often cloaking their discrimination in the First Amendment.

What does the bill do?: This legislation closes a gap in current statute relative to procurement by providing Secretaries (as head of executive office designated under chapter 6A) or Commissioner of the Operational Services Division with additional authority to debar vendors who violate state or federal law relative to discrimination in public accommodations or have adopted policies against any sovereign nation or peoples recognized by the government of the United States which are used to discriminate in violation of any state or federal law prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations or employment.

Why is this bill necessary?: This bill closes a gap in the procurement and debarment process by including prohibition of discrimination in public accommodations and clarifies that policies against a foreign nation, such as federally required sanctions against a foreign government, shall not be used to justify discrimination against a resident of the Commonwealth. (example: A company complying with sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran may not discriminate against a person of Persian heritage in employment or public accommodations.)

Who does this bill protect?: This bill would prevent the Commonwealth from doing business with any entity that violates the MGL c.272, s.92A public accommodations statute, by “making any distinction, discrimination, or restriction in admission to or treatment in a place of public accommodation based on race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, deafness, blindness, or any physical or mental disability, or ancestry.”

This bill also provides additional protections for immigrants to the Commonwealth by distinguishing between sanctions which may be imposed upon a foreign nation and those immigrating to the United States from that foreign nation.

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1/22/2019HouseReferred to the committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight
1/22/2019SenateSenate concurred