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Mitt Romney's 2003 executive order adding "sexual orientation" to list of protected classes in state government

PDF version of Executive Order


By His Excellency


Revoking and superseding Executive Orders No. 74, 116, 117, 227, 235, 246 and 253

WHEREAS, the Executive Branch of State Government recognizes the importance of diversity and equal opportunity in State employment and State business;

WHEREAS, the population and demographic makeup of the Commonwealth makes appreciation of the diversity of our citizens imperative;

WHEREAS, it is in the best interest of the Commonwealth to value the differences among its employees and all those with whom it does business;

WHEREAS, developing an inclusive environment that capitalizes on each individual's talents, skills and perspectives will increase organizational productivity and effectiveness;

WHEREAS, non-discrimination and equal opportunity shall be the policy of the Executive Branch of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in all of its decisions, programs and activities;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MITT ROMNEY, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Supreme Executive Magistrate, Part 2, c. 2, § I, Art. I, do hereby revoke Executive Orders No. 74, 116, 117, 227, 235, 246, and 253, and order as follows:

Section 1. This Executive Order shall apply to all state agencies in the Executive Branch. As used in this Order, "state agencies" shall include all executive offices, boards, commissions, agencies, departments, divisions, councils, bureaus, and offices, now existing and hereafter established.

Section 2. The personnel administrator as the chief human resources officer (the "Chief Human Resources Officer") shall be responsible for the implementation and administration of this Order. The Chief Human Resources Officer shall also serve as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Commonwealth.

Section 3. The Chief Human Resources Officer shall develop rules and guidelines for the implementation and administration of this Order.

Section 4. Each Secretariat shall appoint a Director of Diversity, who may also hold another position in the Secretariat, to report to the Secretary. The Director of Diversity shall be responsible for ensuring the proper implementation of and full compliance with all state and federal laws and any programs and policies of the Commonwealth regarding diversity and equal opportunity. Each Secretariat shall develop a diversity plan that is consistent with the goals of this Executive Order, any federal or state law, including, but not limited to, any federal requirements regarding affirmative actions plans, and the guidelines established by the Chief Human Resources Officer. The Director of Diversity in each Secretariat shall be responsible for developing this plan. The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity, established in Section 5, shall be provided with a copy of each Secretariat's plan and monitor its implementation. The diversity plan shall be updated, at a minimum, every two years.

Section 5. An Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity is hereby established within the Commonwealth's Human Resources Division, or any successor agency, to provide assistance necessary to state agencies in carrying out this Order and to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal laws. A Director of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity shall be selected by, report to and serve at the pleasure of the Chief Human Resources Officer. In addition to reporting to their respective Secretary, the Directors of Diversity shall report to the Director of the Office of Diversity regarding issues of diversity and equal opportunity.

Section 6. The primary purpose of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity shall be to encourage the recruitment and retention of talented individuals from all backgrounds at every level of government. In addition, the overall goals of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity shall include:

  • Creating a State workplace that welcomes, respects and values people of all abilities, cultures, nationalities, religions, races, genders, sexual orientations, ethnic backgrounds and veteran's status;
  • Ensuring that diversity is reflected in all state government activities, including planning, decision-making and design and delivery of services to customers;
  • Identifying and removing barriers to making programs and services accessible to all the citizens of Massachusetts;
  • Developing partnerships with public and private organizations to share best practices for enhancing diversity;
  • Planning and implementing community outreach and diversity recruitment programs to increase the diversity of job applicants;
  • Establishing guidelines for Secretariat diversity plans and ensuring the compliance of each Secretariat with its diversity plan.
  • Complying with all federal and state reporting requirements. Ensuring that all activities are in compliance with applicable state and federal laws.

Section 7. To ensure ongoing input by subject matter experts and interested parties in the area of diversity strategies, policies, programs, practices and oversight to the Diversity efforts of the Commonwealth, the Governor's Diversity and Equal Opportunity Advisory Council ("Advisory Council") is hereby established. The Advisory Council shall be made up of members of public and private organizations. The Chief Diversity Officer shall serve as Chair of the Governor's Advisory Council. The Advisory Council shall consist of no more than fifteen (15) members appointed by the Governor. The Advisory Council shall include, but not be limited to: one member recommended by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, one member recommended by the President of the Senate, one member recommended by the Attorney General, one member from organized labor, one member from a veteran's organization, one member from an educational institution, one member from a civic association, one member from a business association, the Director of Labor and Workforce Development or a designee and five at-large members. Each Advisory Council member shall be appointed by the Governor for a term coterminous with the Governor. All members shall serve without compensation in a solely advisory capacity to and at the pleasure of the Governor.

Section 8. The Advisory Council may call and rely upon the expertise and services of individuals and entities outside of its membership for research, advice, support or functions necessary and appropriate to further and accomplish its mission.

Section 9. The Advisory Council shall meet at such times and places as determined by the Chair, but no less than quarterly, and shall advise the Governor on key policy issues and best practices. The Advisory Council shall provide written recommendations to the Governor no less than semi-annually. Such recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, specific actions that the Commonwealth should implement to ensure that the objectives of this Executive Order are accomplished and that diversity and equal opportunity are considered in the management of the Commonwealth.

Section 10. This Order shall take effect immediately and shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 17th day of June in the year of our Lord two thousand three, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and twenty seven.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts