Boston, MA - The third question on Massachusetts ballot last night passed by a clear margin. Transgender rights will now be preserved throughout the state.
According to Question #3 on the ballot, the proposed law stated that discrimination towards those who identify as transgender is now forbidden, specifically in places of public accommodation. Final numbers are yet to be released.
That’s not all that Question #3 offered, though. The question purely stated that a yes answer would be a vote to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations not only based on gender identity, but also based on race, color, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, and ancestry. A no answer would be a vote to strip the residential protections from the law put in place in 2016 by Governor Charlie Baker, stating that Massachusetts will be an anti-discrimination state. This law stated that any public place, including bathrooms, have separate areas for men and women, but that they are able to be used by people according to their gender identity, not just their biological sex.
Question #3 drew attention from all over the United States, mainly due to the fact that Massachusetts was the first state to put a referendum on transgender rights on the ballot.
Many people came forward recently to encourage and support the passing of this law, including actress Laverne Cox. Carol Ross, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, also came forward to address the matter at hand. Ross stated, prior to the law passing, that if Massachusetts became the first state to pass the law regarding transgender rights, they’d start to lead the nation towards equality in a respectful and dignified way. Typically, when Massachusetts steps forward on a law to make the nation better, many states tend to follow.
Now that the law is passed in Massachusetts, we have sent a message to transgender people and their family and friends nationwide. At a time when the rights of transgender people are being threatened, we’ve done our best to stand up and preserve and secure their rights here in Massachusetts, at a state level. We’ll see how the nation responds in weeks to come.