BOSTON, November 7, 2018—Yesterday, Massachusetts voters protected a 2016 civil rights law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places. Voters in 12 states also elected openly LGBTQ candidates to statewide or federal office. Carl Sciortino, Fenway Health Vice President of Government & Community Relations, offered the following statement in response:
“We are incredibly gratified to see Massachusetts voters unequivocally support the state’s landmark 2016 law protecting civil rights protections for transgender residents. There is a clear connection between civil rights protections for a minority population and their health. Fenway contributed to this important discussion in Massachusetts through Project VOICE, a research project showing the prevalence of public accommodation discrimination experienced by transgender people in Massachusetts. Project VOICE also showed that discrimination in healthcare settings was associated with an increased risk of symptoms of poor health, as well as an increased likelihood to postpone or not seek needed care when sick or injured.
“We are also pleased to see the success of groundbreaking statewide and federal campaigns in 12 states. Colorado elected its first openly gay governor and Nevada and North Dakota elected their first openly gay secretaries of state. Florida, Minnesota, Kansas, and New Hampshire elected their first openly LGBTQ candidates to Congress and voters in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Wisconsin returned openly LGBTQ candidates to statewide or federal office. Many of these campaigns succeeded with candidates who emphasized the need for increased access to affordable health care. But all demonstrated that LGBTQ people can live authentically while succeeding as elected leaders in our civic institutions that shape public health policy.”
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