Fenway Health recently welcomed representatives from Freedom For All Massachusetts at our July all staff meeting. Freedom for All Massachusetts is a bipartisan coalition of families, safety advocates, faith leaders, businesses, and more standing together to protect the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming Bay Staters. Fenway Health is proud to be the newest member of this coalition.
The upcoming November elections will include a question that asks if the current public accommodations nondiscrimination law should remain in place. Question 3 marks the first time the rights of transgender people in public accommodations has been placed on a ballot.
In June 2015, the broad-based bipartisan coalition Freedom for All Massachusetts launched with the goal of updating Massachusetts’ longstanding civil rights laws to include nondiscrimination protections for transgender people in public places such as restaurants, hotels, and hospitals. The Commonwealth had already had gender identity nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing, education and credit since 2011.
The following year, after overwhelming bipartisan supermajority of votes in both legislative chambers, the law was signed by Governor Baker, making Massachusetts the 18th state to fully protect transgender people from discrimination. It was a wonderful victory for equal rights – but, unfortunately, those rights are once again under attack by a small, but vocal, opposition.
On Election Day, Massachusetts voters will vote on protections for transgender people from discrimination. The referendum would repeal our state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public places. A “yes” vote on Question 3 keeps the current law as it is.
There are many ways that you can get involved to help uphold these fundamental rights! You can volunteer for phone banks and neighborhood canvassing between now and the election. Making a donation helps Freedom For All Massachusetts keep up this important work. And of course, please pledge to vote for equality and ask everyone you know to do the same.
This November, we urge you to vote Yes on 3 to uphold Massachusetts’ non-discrimination laws protecting our transgender neighbors, family and friends.