bathroom bill massachusetts
A 2016 law that protects transgender individuals in public spaces, like bathrooms, may be under attack on the November ballot. Photo: Reuters

A measure may appear on the Massachusetts November ballot that would overturn a state law that protects transgender individuals in public spaces such as bathrooms — and it seems to have some support.

The transgender protections law was passed in 2016 and specifically outlaws discrimination against transgender people in public places such as parks, restaurants and public bathrooms. It allows transgender individuals to access the public spaces that align with their identified gender rather the one at which they were assigned at birth.

It has been called the “bathroom bill” as the topic of transgender people using public bathrooms that aligned with their identified gender had sparked into a national point of contention.

According to a recent Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll, 37 percent of 500 voters surveyed said that they would support repealing the law and 49 percent of people opposed repealing it, instead in favor of keeping the protections. About 13 percent of people were undecided on the issue and about 1 percent refused to answer. 

 

A WBUR poll also looked at the issue back in May and found there was slightly more support to keep the law in place, with 52 percent of residents supporting the law and 38 percent supporting its repeal.

The effort to repeal the law is backed by Keep MA Safe. The group has launched a campaign calling the transgender protections “dangerous” for children.

Transgender right advocates are not done fighting, though, and maintain that the law goes far beyond the sphere of restrooms, protecting the transgender community across a multitude of public spaces.

“Upholding #TransLawMA at the ballot will require one of the largest grassroots campaigns #Massachusetts has ever seen — making the case that our #trans neighbors should be treated with dignity and respect,” the organization Freedom for All Massachusetts, which spearheaded the law’s initial passage, said on Twitter last week. “It won't be easy, but we can win this!”

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