FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 10, 2018
Contact: Matt Wilder
Report filed with state regulators shows wide support for Yes on 3, two months before election day
BOSTON – The Yes on 3 Campaign has filed a financial disclosure report with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance that shows the campaign to uphold transgender rights has raised more than $2 million in the last two years, and currently has close to $1 million on hand. “Yes on 3” is the bipartisan ballot question coalition seeking to uphold the state’s transgender nondiscrimination law at the ballot on Election Day, November 6. The law – passed overwhelmingly by the legislature and signed by Governor Charlie Baker – protects transgender people from discrimination and harassment in public places such as restaurants, shops, and medical offices.
“The Yes on 3 campaign has made great progress in raising the necessary funds to ensure voters know the truth about Question 3 and know why it’s so important for Massachusetts to vote yes on November 6,” said Kasey Suffredini, Yes on 3 Campaign Co-Chair. “However, we also know we have more to raise and that we can not take our success for granted. Historically, anti-transgender activists wait as long as possible before last-minute funds are provided to pay for misleading TV ads meant to scare voters. We must be fully resourced to promote the truth about what this law really does until the very last votes are cast.”
Opponents to transgender equality reported having just more than $26,000 on hand, up from less than $10 last year. Its largest donors include people who have previously supported the Family Research Council Political Action Committee (PAC), an entity identified in 2010 as a “hate group”, as well as other PACs that have long targeted anti-LGTBQ campaigns. In other campaigns pushing an anti-transgender agenda, the campaigns have received contributions close to election day that pay for influential, albeit misleading and untruthful, TV ads. Yes on 3 campaign officials expect that to happen here as election day nears.
The overwhelming majority of contributions (91%) to the Yes on 3 campaign came from donors inside Massachusetts. Yes on 3’s top donor, Seth Klarman, CEO of the Baupost Group, a Boston-based investment management group, has donated $200,000 to the campaign to uphold the transgender protections law. Other top donors since 2017 include well-known corporations such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ($100,000), MassMutual ($50,000), Eastern Bank ($50,000), and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare ($50,000), showcasing the wide breadth of support for voting yes on 3. More than 1,500 influencers and organizations have already endorsed voting yes on 3 across Massachusetts to date.
Since the beginning of 2018 the Yes on 3 campaign has raised more than $1.8 million dollars from more than 3,000 donors. The campaign overall has raised more than $2.1 million since 2017.
In 2016, at the urging of civic, business and community leaders throughout the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts legislature passed – with a bipartisan, supermajority vote – the historic nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public places. Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law in July 2016. Shortly after it went into effect in October 2016, a small group of opponents gathered the minimum number of signatures required to place the law on the ballot for repeal in November 2018.
Massachusetts is the first state in the nation where transgender protections will be up for a vote on a statewide ballot measure. Currently, Massachusetts is among 19 states and more than 250 municipalities with nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public places, including restrooms and locker rooms.
More than 1,500 organizations, including law enforcement officials, sexual assault and domestic violence prevention experts, business leaders, labor unions, members of the faith community, and more, have joined the coalition in support of upholding the law at the ballot.
Freedom for All Massachusetts is the coalition working to uphold the state’s current nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public places like restaurants, retails shops and hospitals, ensuring that Massachusetts continues to be a national leader on equality and fairness for all. A November 2018 ballot referendum will ask voters whether they want to retain the law, which has been effective since July 2016.