The ACLU today issued the following statements in response to a winning ballot question to uphold Massachusetts’ transgender nondiscrimination law and protect transgender people from discrimination in public places:
Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts:
“By winning the first statewide popular vote on transgender rights, Massachusetts voters reaffirmed our Commonwealth as a place that fiercely defends our basic values of dignity and respect for everyone. When Massachusetts leads on equality, the nation watches – and often, it follows. Tonight, we sent a message not just to transgender people and their families and friends here in Massachusetts, but to the entire country. At a time when transgender rights are being threatened nationally, we absolutely must preserve the rights we have secured at the state level.”
James Esseks, director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project:
“It’s now clear that America – from coast to coast – supports protections for transgender and nonbinary people. Over the past two years, anti-transgender activists tried but failed to get a similar measure on the ballot in Washington state and in Montana. Last spring, voters in Anchorage rejected a related anti-transgender ballot measure. And now Massachusetts has sided with the transgender community. The failure of these anti-trans ballot tactics should prove, once and for all, that voters don’t want to discriminate.
“Once again, we see that when people meet their transgender neighbors, equality will prevail. This victory belongs to every transgender and nonbinary person in Massachusetts and those around the country who are living their truth. No one should have to fight for their own humanity this way – but we are thankful to those who refused to back down in the face of discrimination. Those who oppose equality should see this as another clear message that discrimination should have no place in America.”