^ Congressman Joseph Kennedy III speaking at a large “Yes On 3” rally in Copley Square yesterday

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This November, when those of you who vote in Massachusetts cast your ballots, you will find three Referenda to be voted on. One of those three seeks to repeal the transgender civil rights bill that our legislature enacted overwhelmingly two years ago and was signed into law by Governor Baker.

This repeal is opposed by Governor Baker ; opposed by the legislators who voted for the hill; oppoded by Attorney General Maura Healey; opposed by the entire business and law enforcement communities; by labor; by every sort of civil rights activist; and opposed by us at Here and Sphere.

The so-called “TransBillMA” accords transgender persons full civil rights access to all public accommodations, including restaurants, store front businesses, and — yes, bathrooms, which are the focus of the repealers. They claim that it is unsafe for women if transgender women use a women’s bathroom.

Please note that no objection is made to transgender men using a men’s bathroom.

Why are the civil rights of transgender men any more guaranteed than the civil rights of transgender women ? The repealers have no good answer for this question except to posit a rather comic hypothetical : men pretending to be transgender women.

Really ? How does one pretend to be a transgender woman ? It is difficult to be transgender. I cannot imagine how anyone who is not transgender gets even a small grip on what being transgender is like.

Frankly, I find the entire repeal argument to say, in essence, that transgender people do not exist, that being transgender is a myth or a mental disorder.

By what right does anyone get to decide who someone else is ? If there is any basic human right, it’s the right to be who you are.

And what’s the big deal about bathrooms ? Many establishments have unisex bathrooms, one at a time. Where multiple bathrooms present, in stalls, each person still goes into one stall and can lock the door. People use a publicly available bathroom because they simply want to take a piss, period. A piss and move on. And anyone who wants criminally to predate people in bathrooms can already break the law.

The repealers’ motive is deny that transgender people exist. Or, that if transgender people do exist, they can’t be allowed to participate fully in the community and society. This is segregation, pure and simple. Second class citizenship.

It cannot be allowed to happen.

Please vote “yes” on Question 3, to preserve the protect the full civil rights of our state’s thousands upon thousands of transgender people.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere

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