The Massachusetts state senate just passed the Transgender Equal Rights Bill, making The Bay State the 16th U.S. state to offer protections to transgender people. Democratic Governor Deval Patrick has already agreed to sign it. The bill will add gender identity as a “protected class” in the state’s hate crime laws and will prohibit discrimination based on gender identity in jobs, housing, insurance, mortgage loans and credit. However it stops short of protecting trans people from being harassed in public. Oh well.