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WATCH: Audience cheers as Mass. lawmakers pass trans-inclusive anti-discrimination bill

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The Massachusetts House approved a bill on Wednesday that expanded anti-discrimination statues to cover trans residents’ access to public facilities including restrooms, WBUR-FM reported.

The measure, H 4343, passed in a 116-36 vote, a month after a similar bill passed in the state Senate. Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has already indicated that he would sign it into law if passed. It is slated to take effect in early 2017.

“This historic vote brings us another step closer to protecting the rights of all residents and sends a powerful message that our state is a place of equality, opportunity, and community,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Massachusetts said in a statement.

The group also posted video online of people cheering in the gallery after the vote, which can be seen below.

The bill passed in the wake of legislation in other states that banned members of the trans community from using restrooms according to their gender identity. Opponents of the Massachusetts measure seized on a common argument in that vein, saying that H 4343 would provide a way for sexual predators to sneak into womens’ restrooms.

“The bill allows people on a routine basis to decide if they are male or female. Your anatomy is no longer relevant,” said state Rep. James Lyons (R). “This has absolutely nothing to do with discrimination, it has everything to do with changing our society and social engineering by those on the left. I’m not interested in changing society.”

WHDH-TV showed footage of a group of demonstrators opposing the bill, as well as a trans woman, Aurora Desmond, who held up a sign saying, “Trans rights are human rights” in support of the legislation.

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“This is Massachusetts; we were the first state to legalize gay marriage,” she said. “We are famous for being progressive. It’s time.”

WHDH’s report can be seen below.

(h/t Towleroad)

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Meghan McCain explodes after declaring herself a ‘sacrificial Republican’ — and shocks audience with slur against Joy Behar

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Whoopi Goldberg had to cool off a heated argument on "The View" between Joy Behar and Meghan McCain, who complained about being the show's "sacrificial Republican."

McCain mocked Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for appearing at President Donald Trump's campaign rally in Orlando, where the president belittled him from the stage.

"The transformation is complete," McCain said. "That's what I thought last night, the transformation is complete."

She then warned the other panelists not to overlook the crowd enthusiasm for Trump, and she recalled a conversation with a producer who couldn't understand why the president's supporters loved him so much.

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Reparations hearing erupts in applause after Ta-Nehisi Coates gives McConnell an epic lesson on racism

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Author Ta-Nehisi Coates on Wednesday delivered an epic smack down of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on reparations for slavery.

In Coates's opening remarks, he responded directly to McConnell's claim that the government should not pay out reparations to black Americans because slavery ended more than 150 years ago.

Coates pointed out that the United States was still paying out pensions to the families of Civil War soldiers "well into this century" and he said that the government still honors treaties it signed even though no one who signed them is still alive today.

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WATCH: Trump supporter arrested for smacking reporter’s phone outside Orlando rally

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A Trump supporter was arrested during an altercation with a reporter and another man outside the president's Orlando campaign rally.

Video recorded by an Orlando Sentinel reporter shows a man wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat and another man outside the Amway Center, where President Donald Trump officially kicked off his 2020 campaign.

The two men appear to be arguing with one another, although the second man also appears to be angry about something that took place inside the arena, when the man wearing the Trump hat notices the reporter recording them with a phone.

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