The midterm elections occurred yesterday and was a success for many Democrats. As many know, on the ballots for the midterms, there are public questions about local issues that people vote on, and most noticeably in Massachusetts, Question 3 promised to keep transgender protections that were put in place in 2016. Many people were urged to vote no on Question 3, reversing the protections. Luckily, the residents of Massachusetts voted yes on question three, securing the existing laws, according to WBUR.
The 2016 state law that was put in place ensured that transgender people could use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that correspond with their gender identity instead of their biological sex. By voting yes on Question 3, the people of Massachusetts showed their support for equality and made sure that transgender people are treated fairly. Before the election, polls consistently showed support for keeping the protections over repealing the existing laws by a wide margin.
Massachusetts has a great track record in regards to civil rights, as MA was the front runner for marriage equality when the Massachusetts government legalized same-sex marriage in the early 2000s and is one of the twenty states that has full protections in employment for LGBTQ people. Those two facts, in conjunction with the enforcing of the transgender accommodation laws, makes Massachusetts a state that I hope many others will follow in the fight for equality.
Opponents of the law ran fear campaigns in which they claim that if the protections remain in place, it will open the door for predatory behavior by men dressed as women to enter the women's restroom. To counter that, Callum Borchers, a reporter for WBUR, reported that since 2003 there has only been 14 instances in which men entered the women's room for criminal purposes, none of which occurred in Massachusetts. Fourteen cases in fifteen years definitely does not support the opponents' claims.
This decision is great not only in the context of Massachusetts, but nationwide as well. In this time of the Trump administration trying to invalidate the identities of transgender people by conflating sex and gender, Massachusetts voting on the side of equality hopefully shows that LGBTQ rights are here to stay and potentially closes the door for discrimination.