Stand Against Discrimination of Transgender People in MA!

As the mother of 2 transgender children, I have had many reasons to be glad that we live in Massachusetts. Our community has been very supportive since my daughters transitioned about 3 years ago, and Massachusetts is one of only 18 states in which my children can enjoy full protection under the law. As you may know, this came about in 2018 when the Legislature passed transgender anti-discrimination legislation, protecting the rights of transgender individuals in all public spaces.  What you may not know, however, is that this legislation is in jeopardy. Very soon after Governor Baker signed this law, opponents collected enough signatures to challenge it on the ballot via a so-called citizen's veto referendum. This November, the rights of my daughters and all other transgender people in Massachusetts will be at stake.

Imagine what it could mean if the law's opponents have their way. My oldest daughter could be forced to get off the T while going into Boston or my youngest daughter could be kicked out of a movie theatre with friends just for being who they are. My family could be asked to leave a restaurant while having a meal together just because whoever is working at that time doesn’t feel comfortable with transgender people. While these scenarios are bad, my worst nightmare is that one of my daughters could require life-saving medical treatment and could be refused if the doctor on duty doesn’t want to treat them. These situations and more could become reality for all transgender people living in Massachusetts.

Our opponents would have people believe that this is about bathrooms and public safety, but that is simply misdirection. They know that they will only be able to be successful if they employ scare tactics that will cause people to go against their own sense of fairness. At stake is what kind of state we would like to live in: I, like all members of Progressive Mass, want to live in a state where all residents are treated with dignity and respect and are fully and equally protected under the law.

While I know we have a while to go until November, I have been surprised that few people know that this important issue is on the ballot. But it’s important to get involved now: spreading the word about this question, making sure that people know that a YES is a vote against the law’s reactionary opponents and for equal rights in Massachusetts, and educating your friends and neighbors about what this ballot question is and what it is not. You can find volunteer opportunities near you at the Freedom Massachusetts website here: https://secure.freedomma.org/page/s/volunteer.

Progressive Mass was a part of the Freedom Massachusetts coalition behind the 2016 bill, and it’s important that we take action again to protect our past victories, uphold our values, and vote YES this fall.

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published this page in Issues 2018-04-02 09:18:05 -0400
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