Massachusetts Votes to Uphold Protections for Transgender People in Public Places

Question 3 passes with about two-thirds support.

Transgender advocate and actress Laverne Cox meets with Ashton, a transgender teenager, in Boston.Josh Reynolds/AP Images for Human Rights Campaign

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

A majority of Massachusetts voters chose to uphold legal protections for transgender people on today, preventing a rollback of a law that bans discrimination against trans people in public accommodations such as restrooms and locker rooms. Two-thirds of voters checked “yes” on Question 3, expressing their support for the current law.   

“From the very early days of our campaign, we have been clear that this is about dignity and respect for all people,” Kasey Suffredini, cochair of the LGBTQ rights coalition Freedom for All Massachusetts, said in a press release. “Together, we have shattered broken stereotypes of what it means to be transgender and debunked the myth—once and for all—that protecting transgender people compromises the safety of others.”

If the No side had prevailed, Question 3 would have repealed a 2016 law that established anti-discrimination protections for transgender Bay Staters. Its backers began working to get the question on the ballot in the summer of 2016, citing baseless fears that the trans-rights law would put women and children at risk of being targeted by sexual predators.

A late push by high-profile celebrities and a variety of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union may have helped swing voters, whom pollsters and activists worried would be confused by the ballot initiative’s counterintuitive wording. “I truly believe that this is one of the most pivotal moments in the trans legal, political movement of this decade,” Chase Strangio, an ACLU staff attorney and transgender rights activist, told the Intercept.

Actress Laverne Cox also campaigned aggressively for Yes on 3. On October 24, Cox spoke at a rally in downtown Boston, urging voters to “choose love” as they headed to the polls. “Massachusetts has an opportunity to send a message to this administration, has an opportunity to send a message to the rest of the country that this is not who we are as Americans, that this is not who we are as human beings, that we respect the humanity of everyone,” she said. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate