Take Action: Protect Free Speech in MA


On January 19, 2017 “An Act Prohibiting Discrimination in State Contracts”  (S.1689/ H.1685) was introduced in the Massachusetts Legislature. On its face, the bill bars the state from contracting with any party that discriminates based on race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity or sexual orientation.

While the bill makes no mention of Israel, Palestine, or BDS, it is clear from public statements made by the Jewish Community Relations Council that the bill’s motivation is to chill the exercise of protected speech and to discriminate against those who choose to exercise their right to protest in unpopular ways. As a member organization of the Jewish Community Relations Council, we want to help the organized Jewish community do the right thing. We support the JCRC’s important work, but we oppose this bill.

The bill has now been assigned to the Joint Committee on State Administration & Regulatory Oversight (SARO) of the MA legislature. The hearing on this act took place on Tuesday, July 18.

Boston Workmen’s Circle mobilized our community members to pack the hearing room, and now its time to submit written or oraltestimony to the Committee, and to contact your representatives. Whether or not you support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS), it is important to speak out as Jews to protect our right to protest and free speech. 


Contact information for State Administration and Regulatory Oversight Committee members:

**= Co-Chairs of Committee