Massachusetts Votes to Keep Transgender Protections in Place

Massachussetts voters celebrate proposition 3 victoryPhoto: WBUR

Mila Madison

Proposition 3 was a veto referendum, calling on the people of Massachusetts to vote on whether or not they want to repeal Senate Bill 2407, a state law passed in 2016 that prohibits discrimination in areas of public accommodation on the basis of gender identity.

At the time of this reporting, yes votes have a sizable lead with 66% of the vote (575,489) compared to 33% (296,670) no votes with 40% of precincts reporting.

"At a critical moment in the fight for equality, Massachusetts voters sent a powerful message that transgender people are loved and welcomed in the Bay State," said HRC President Chad Griffin in a statement. "From North Carolina and Virginia to Alaska and Massachusetts, we have demonstrated that when we stand together and fight back against attacks on our progress, we win. The LGBTQ community is indebted to the courage of so many transgender people - particularly young people - who opened hearts, changed minds and laid the foundation for this victory, and the Human Rights Campaign is proud to have been a part of the historic work of the Yes on 3 Campaign."

Among the opponents who were seeking to repeal the law was a group called “Keep MA Safe,” which had released a campaign of brutal attacks against the transgender community in attempt to drum up support against keeping the law in place.

“We are deeply disappointed that the people of Massachusetts will continue to be forced to sacrifice their privacy and safety in the name of political correctness,” said Andrew Beckwith, a legal analyst for Keep MA Safe.

Currently, Nineteen U.S. states have similar laws or legal precedents protecting transgender people. The vote in Massachusetts was the first statewide referendum on a transgender protections law.

The National Center for Transgender Equality has called Tuesday’s vote “a stunning rebuke of anti-transgender lies and prejudice.”