Affirmative action preferences for gay-, lesbian-, bisexual-, and transgender-owned contractors in Massachusetts

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Here's last week's executive order, from Gov. Charlie Baker:

This Executive Order reaffirms and expands the Massachusetts Supplier Diversity Program ("SDP") within the Supplier Diversity Office ("SDO") of the Operational Services Division ("OSD") to promote equity of opportunity in state government by now extending to veteran, disability and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ("LGBT") owned businesses the prospect of full participation in all areas of state procurement by all Agencies.

Joan Venocchi (Boston Globe) praises this, and makes clear that this is a set-aside program for various groups, now including gay-, lesbian-, bisexual-, and transgender-owned contractors.

Under a diversity program launched during the Patrick administration, a percentage of state contracts is already set aside for businesses owned by minorities, women, and service-disabled veterans. Under an executive order just signed by Baker, the program will expand to include businesses owned by all veterans and people with disabilities—as well as those owned by the LGBT community.

As I mentioned in a post about a California program, I wonder: How will anyone know whether a business owner is bisexual? Do you have to say that you've had sex with members of the same sex? What if you just say that you're attracted to members of the same sex? Or is the state relying on the assumption that non-bisexuals would be reluctant to label themselves bisexual, even when that helps them get valuable contracts, for fear that the label will come out to their friends (or to other prospective business partners who discriminate against bisexuals rather than in favor of them)?