Massachusetts governor shrugs off LGBT group's booing as ‘part of my job’

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2016 12:43 PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker on Thursday chalked up an incident in which he was booed off a stage for his tepid stance on a transgender rights bill as "part of my job."

"My job is to meet with everybody and anybody and sometimes that means I am going to spend time with audiences who don't agree with me. And that's part of my job," Baker, a Republican, told reporters on Thursday morning, a day after the incident.

Baker had angered attendees at the Boston Spirit LGBT Executive Networking Night when he declined to say whether he would sign a bill the state Senate plans to take up next month that would prohibit discrimination against transgender people in public, including in bathrooms.

Baker said on Thursday he does not comment on pending legislation, but will consider the bill when it comes to his desk.

A moderate Republican in the first U.S. state to legalize gay marriage more than a decade ago, Baker has generally supported gay rights.

The new Massachusetts bill, which has bipartisan support in the state legislature, is being discussed as a wave of southern U.S. states are debating and passing laws requiring individuals to use the bathroom that corresponds with their birth gender.

(Reporting by Scott Malone, editing by G Crosse)