In November, Massachusetts will vote for respect and dignity. Here’s what you need to know.
On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will face the first-ever statewide popular vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places, including restaurants, stores, and doctors’ offices. A “yes” vote keeps the current law as it is.
Massachusetts’ Transgender Nondiscrimination Law: The Facts
It’s about treating others as we would want to be treated. We need more acceptance, not fear and discrimination.
Transgender people should have the same basic protections as everyone else – to live their lives with safety, privacy and dignity. Protecting people from discrimination—including people who are transgender—is about treating others as we want to be treated. Vote yes because we more love, respect and kindness and less fear, intimidation and discrimination.
This law is supported by organizations that work on behalf of women, children, and survivors of violence, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention advocates and experts, and more.
Safety in restrooms is important for all of us—including transgender people. That’s why our state’s leading sexual assault and domestic violence prevention advocates like the Massachusetts Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence are joining with women’s organizations like the YWCA and National Organization for Women to support our state’s nondiscrimination protections.
We already have laws in place that make it illegal to harm or harass people in restrooms. These laws are used to prevent assault, keep people safe, and hold offenders accountable. Protecting transgender people from discrimination hasn’t changed that.
In fact, laws protecting transgender people from discrimination have been in place for a long time—including in places like Boston, Cambridge, Northampton, and Amherst—with no increase in public safety incidents in restrooms in any of those places. And there’s been no increase in such incidents in Massachusetts since our state’s protections passed in 2016.
The law protects transgender youth.
Every young person deserves a fair chance to succeed in school and prepare for their future—including young people who are transgender. Transgender youth continue to face mistreatment and bullying, and repealing our state’s protections would put them at even greater risk of harassment, discrimination and even violence.
Massachusetts proudly stands for treating everyone fairly and equally.
Massachusetts is known as a beacon of freedom and fairness, where we treat everyone with respect. We were the first state in the country to recognize marriage equality, and we will once again show the country that we believe transgender people should be treated fairly and equally under the law, and should not face discrimination.
Our nondiscrimination law is working well and it’s time to turn our focus elsewhere.
Protecting transgender people from discrimination is settled law in Massachusetts. Governor Baker and a bipartisan supermajority of legislators passed the law back in 2016, and it is working fine. Taking away those protections violates the principles of freedom and liberty at the most personal level. We cannot let a small group of people use this as a distraction like they did with marriage equality. It is time to focus on more pressing needs.
No one should fear for their safety because of the color of their skin, who they love, or how they identify. Massachusetts’ nondiscrimination law allows transgender people to live their lives free from harassment and discrimination.