Sunday, June 16, 2024

This November, Massachusetts residents will vote to either preserve or repeal protections for transgender people in public spaces. The protections have been in place since 2016, and have decreased assaults, discrimination and violence targeted toward transgender and gender-nonconforming Bay Staters. Without protections, hardworking transgender people in our state will be more vulnerable to discrimination, and trans youth will be left feeling unwelcome and unsupported.

Public accommodations for trans people goes far beyond bathrooms – hotels, coffee shops, doctors offices – anywhere outside the home, school or work. 

Since Gov. Charlie Baker enacted the bill in 2016, there has been no increase in public safety violations in Massachusetts, so why are we putting basic rights for transgender people up for debate?

Voting yes on ballot question No. 3 makes an impact on a local and national level. Massachusetts will be the first state in the country to vote on basic protections for transgender people. If a repeal effort is successful in Massachusetts, anti-LGBTQ activists will continue to attempt similar efforts across the country. 

Voting yes also shows our commitment as a state to upholding the respect and dignity of all people – transgender people included. In Massachusetts, we believe that all people should be treated fairly and equally by the law. To ensure the safety and well-being of our transgender neighbors, friends and loved ones, it’s critical to vote yes on ballot question No. 3. 

Leo Austin-Spooner