This November, Massachusetts voters will be given the chance to repeal a state law banning discrimination against transgender people in places of public accommodation.
The law, passed in 2016, guarantees transgender people the same access to spaces like bathrooms, sports arenas, restaurants, movies theaters and parks enjoyed by populations who are less vulnerable to exclusion and harassment. The option of repeal will be presented to voters as Question 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot. A “no” vote will repeal the law, a “yes” will keep it in place.
Opponents of the law argue that the vote is a matter of public safety, that it will shape the ability of state residents, particularly children, to navigate communities without fear of abuse. They are not wrong to make this argument. The law does indeed concern public safety. Transgender people are far likelier to face violence than non-transgender people. Transgender women, for example, are four times likelier to be murdered than the general population of women. And it is indeed the young who are especially at risk. Among the transgender people killed since January 2013, over three-quarters were below age 35. Transgender men and women are at a higher risk of suicide than the general population, a risk worsened by the psychological toll of the bigotry they often face. An estimated 41 percent of transgender people will attempt suicide at least once in their lives, significantly more than the 5 percent of the overall population who will report a suicide attempt.
Read the full piece at Cognoscenti.