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Question 3

by Press Release
November 2, 2018

Holliston Coalition for Transgender Equality

Contact: Lisa Kaplan

508-208-5491 or lisabbk@verizon.net

 

Vote Yes on Question 3 for Transgender Equality

 

Next week Massachusetts citizens (who have not already voted early) will go to the polls to vote on candidates and three ballot questions. Ballot Question 3 is a vote to affirm or repeal the civil rights granted to transgender people under a law passed in 2016 by a supermajority of State Representatives and Senators and signed by Governor Baker.

This law added gender to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement. This means that citizens or businesses may not discriminate against trans people in places such as restaurants, hotels, hospitals, theaters or restrooms. Ballot Question 3 asks “do you approve of a law... which was approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate on July 7, 2016?” A “yes” vote keeps the protections in place; a “no” vote repeals this part of the public accommodations law.

The Holliston Coalition for Transgender Equality urges voters to mark their ballots YES to keep these civil rights in place for transgender people. We are joined in our support by Massachusetts law enforcement agencies such as the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, major corporations, faith and government leaders, and by every Boston professional sports team. Members of the Holliston Coalition for Transgender Equality include:

 

Representative Carolyn Dykema

Senate President Karen Spilka

Bradford L. Jackson, Ed.D, Superintendent of Schools, Holliston Public Schools

First Congregational Church, UCC, Holliston

St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, Holliston

Temple Beth Torah, Holliston

Holliston Democratic Town Committee

Holliston Progressives

Diverse Holliston

Other Holliston Clergy:

Rev. Mark T. Peterson, Christ the King Lutheran Church

Rabbi Jennifer Rudin, Simcha Services

The opponents of this law contend that granting equal protection in public accommodations to all citizens will cause unsafe conditions for people in women’s public restrooms and locker rooms. This fear is unfounded. The 2016 law states that gender identity “must be sincerely held as a part of a person’s core identity” and prohibits people from using gender identity for any “improper purpose.” Nothing in the law weakens prohibitions against illegal behavior. Furthermore, in the two years that this law has been in effect, there has been no increase in restroom incidents. Additionally, a study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law looked at crime rates in Massachusetts cities and towns before 2016 and found that those localities with non-discrimination laws already in place had no more incidents than locations without these protections (see Boston Globe, September 16, 2018).

We ask undecided voters to view these two videos, both done locally. They might offer some insight into the lives of our transgender friends and neighbors and why a yes vote on Question 3 is so important. The first is an episode of Mary Greendale’s HCAT program “Just Thinking” with Rep. Dykema, who is a supporter of YES on 3; Sean Bilodeau, who is Holliston High School band director, and Sara Schnorr, who is a Holliston resident, Boston attorney and a Baker appointee to the Mass. Commission on the Status of Women. Bilodeau and Schnorr tell their personal transition stories and the importance of YES on 3 to their lives.

The second video was posted on our Facebook page by Dr. Barbara Fritts, a Holliston resident and clinical psychologist who specializes in LGBTQ issues. Dr. Fritts is a licensed clinical psychologist practicing in Holliston, specializing in LGBTQ issues.  To contact her or for more information, please visit her website http://www.drfritts.com

Transgender people deserve the right to live with dignity, safety and privacy and to be treated with the kindness and respect we afford to all our citizens. The Holliston Coalition for Transgender Equality urges you to preserve their rights by voting YES on 3. For more information, please see our Facebook Page or Freedom for All MA.

 

Thank you for taking the time to learn about Question 3.

--Holliston Coalition for Transgender Equality

 

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