Earlier this month, Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a landmark bill protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places. But it wasn't accompanied by the usual public signing ceremony that's become custom for major pieces of legislation. While leaders like Attorney General Maura Healey and Senate President Stan Rosenberg held a rally on the State House steps, Baker himself was not in attendance.
Healey said she was "disappointed" by Baker's absence.
"I was disappointed there wasn't a public signing. I thought this was an important piece of civil rights legislation and important civil rights law," she said.
"I thought it was really important to mark that day for the advocates, for those families, and for the legislators who did the hard work and took the time through the hearings and through the session to get this done," she continued.
Baker originally opposed a transgender public accommodations bill during his unsuccessful gubernatorial run in 2010. As the proposal moved through the legislature this year, he avoided staking a clear position on it for months before finally announcing he would sign it into law in May.
"I think everyone knows that many of us were disappointed in the governor that there wasn't a public signing," Healey said. "But what was important to us and to me was that there be this public signing and this testimony and this opportunity for folks to come together and celebrate an important law on equality."
Healey also weighed in on this weekend's shootings in Baton Rouge, Lousiana, where three law enforcement officers were killed in a shootout near a convenience store.
“We need to be absolutely strong and clear: violence is never the answer, violence wasn’t the answer in Minneapolis or Baton Rouge or Dallas or Orlando," Healey said.
"Now is the time for all of us to come together to take concrete steps to move forward, to address the very real fear, mistrust, hate in this country that exists, to support those in law enforcement, to support communities of color, to realize we have a common interest in uniting and doing what needs doing to ensure that we’re respecting one another," she continued.
To hear more from Maura Healey, tune in to Boston Public Radio above.