Dear WBA Members,
As we get closer to Election Day, I wanted to share some information about why the WBA is a Coalition Partner for Yes on 3 and what you can do to support legal protections and equality for our transgender friends, family and neighbors.
In 2016, the state legislature added gender identify to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement. Such grounds also include race, color, religious creed, national origin, sex, disability, and ancestry. A “place of public accommodation, resort or amusement” is defined in existing law as any place that is open to and accepts or solicits the patronage of the general public, such as hotels, stores, restaurants, theaters, sports facilities, and hospitals. “Gender identity” is defined as a person’s sincerely held gender-related identity, appearance, or behavior, whether or not it is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.
The WBA supported that law in 2016 because we oppose discrimination on the basis of gender identity, plain and simple. At the time, we had two beliefs about the law: (1) it would help people facing danger and discrimination in public settings; and (2) claims that the law would make women and children vulnerable to attacks in public restrooms were false and inflammatory. We are proud to say that we were correct on both counts.
While the law has been working as intended, it is now being challenged by Question 3 this November. This is not a legal nicety, but an attack on the rights of people in our lives who most need our support in a time of social turmoil. A YES vote will preserve the law.
The WBA, mostly individuals identifying as women, includes many mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, nieces, granddaughters, coaches, caretakers, and friends who are deeply concerned about safety. We think through our priorities carefully, balancing how laws affect society, the impact on children, and the risks of interpersonal violence. We ask members to vote YES on 3 and to educate others on this important protection.
What can you do?
1) Encourage allies to vote. The MA voter registration deadline is Wednesday, October 17. Encourage children, neighbors or friends who want a voice in our system to vote and help them get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6.
2) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper sharing the truth and shattering false claims about Question 3. Visit https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/ for details on the ballot question.
3) Attend an event or otherwise volunteer to spread the word. https://www.freedommassachusetts.org/events/
4) Talk to friends and neighbors about this ballot question.
There is a lot of misinformation on Question 3. Much of it plays on fears and stereotypes. So many brave individuals, including parents and children, have shared their stories about why the law is needed and how it prevents discrimination against them. Let’s do our part to show dignity, respect and gratitude for all they give us.
Thanks to Our Corporate Partners