Your Rights in Massachusetts

GLAD's historic 2003 victory in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health made Massachusetts the first state in the U.S. to grant same-sex couples full marriage equality.

LGBT Issues

Anti-Discrimination Law

Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (currently excluding public accommodations) and HIV status. More →

Family Law

Same-sex couples can marry in Massachusetts. Single gay people can adopt in Massachusetts; same-sex couples can jointly become the legal parents of a child. More →

Hate Crimes, Sex Laws and Police

Sexual orientation and gender identity or expression are protected characteristics under Massachusetts’ hate crimes laws. More →

Students' Rights

Massachusetts law forbids discrimination in public schools on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (effective July 1, 2012). More →


HIV Anti-Discrimination Law

Massachusetts has enacted anti-discrimination laws protecting people with HIV from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. More →

HIV Testing and Privacy

Massachusetts law requires informed written consent for HIV testing and release of HIV-related medical information. More →

Other HIV-Related Laws

Massachusetts law permits the Department of Public Health to establish needle exchange programs, but unfortunately requires "local approval" for the siting of a program. More →

GLAD’s Work in Massachusetts

Join Us At This Upcoming Event!

October 01, 2014

GLADHour: Happy Hour for Fans of GLAD

Join Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders at our next GLADHour, a happy hour for fans of eq... Details »

Join Us At This Upcoming Event!

October 24, 2014

15th Annual Spirit of Justice Award Dinner

Honoring Urvashi Vaid an LGBT activist who has fought to create a world free of bigotry, ... RSVP »

From the Docket


In re Wambere
In re Wambere

Update: John “Longjones” Abdallah Wambere has been recommended for asylum in the United States.  In… More →

All Cases →

Legislative Advocacy

August 1, 2014

Addressing LGBTQ Youth Homelessness in Massachusetts

GLAD Staff Attorney Allison Wright submitted testimony to support the Boston City Council’s effort… More →

All Advocacy →


September 17, 2014

GLAD’s Mary Bonauto Receives MacArthur Foundation Fellowship
GLAD’s Mary Bonauto Receives MacArthur Foundation Fellowship

The MacArthur Foundation announced today that Mary L. Bonauto, Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), has been… More →

All News →