Over the weekend, Massachusetts celebrated the one-year anniversary of the state extending non-discrimination protections to transgender residents. However, the celebration could be short-lived as the young law is already in danger of being stripped away at the ballot next year.
In 2016, soon after the bill was passed in the state legislature with bipartisan super-majorities in both chambers, opponents of the law confirmed they had gathered enough signatures needed to bring it to the November 2018 ballot for repeal.
If successful, this would officially position Massachusetts to become the first and only statewide voter initiative to repeal transgender protections in the country.
Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the bill into law extending commonsense, non-discrimination protections to transgender people and visitors to the state. While the Bay State law already prohibited discrimination against transgender people in housing and employment, the new law extended these same crucial protections to public accommodations, such as access to restaurants, malls, restrooms, and locker rooms.
Massachusetts became the 19th state with non-discrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, housing, and employment. In addition, similar protections exist in more than 100 cities across the country, including Atlanta, Dallas, and Louisville.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is part of the Freedom for All Massachusetts campaign working to defeat this harmful ballot initiative and ensure the state continues to be a national leader on equality and fairness for all.