As federal politics grow more and more divisive, state politics become more and more critical to our way of life. State politics allow for sectional interests to prevail over national law. When the populous has actually been silenced because of archaic governmental processes, all we as Americans can do is fall back to our individual states and the greater power we have in such an arena. Question 3 on the Massachusetts ballot this November is of critical importance. A recently leaked HHS memo proposes that gender be an immutable condition assigned at birth, essentially creating gender and sex as equal, when they are, in fact, separate. Question 3 here in Massachusetts addresses a similar question. Here are the important facts:
In July, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed an ordinance which “adds gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in places of public accommodation, resort, or amusement” This would add gender to the current list of protected identifiers such as religious identity, country of origin, race, and others. The ordinance also makes sure that public and private spaces offer equal accommodations to transgender and cisgender people. Essentially, if a transgender person wants to use a bathroom which conforms to their identity, then they are allowed to do so.
Question 3 asks if the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should keep or repeal the previously described ordinance. Voting YES on question 3, says that the voter approves of the ordinance and wants to keep anti-discrimination provisions for transgender people. Voting NO on question 3 says that the voter would like to repeal the aforementioned ordinance, taking anti-discrimination provisions away from transgender people.
Question 3 was proposed by a group called “Keep MA Safe”. Their platform alleges that allowing transgender people to use the bathrooms which align with their gender identity puts women and children at risk. Their website features a video of a man (clearly dressed to appear as a threat, with matted hair, and dirty clothes) entering a women's restroom. The video then shows a woman entering the restroom to change, and as she unbuttons her shirt, the man steps out and the woman begins to scream as the video cuts to black. The rest of the site puts extreme emphasis on the idea that trans people are just men dressing up as women in order to gain access to restrooms and commit sex crimes. The site additionally features examples of sex crimes against women in bathrooms, but most of these crimes are perpetrated by people who do not claim their gender identity to be different from their sex assigned at birth, they are simply stories of sex offenses.
At a time when the rights of the transgender community are in flux, it is critical that each person take a stand. On November 6th, take your pick. Support the transgender community by voting yes, or reject the transgender community by voting no.