Massachusetts backs transgender rights in historic statewide referendum

By Julie Moreau

In the first statewide referendum on transgender rights, Massachusetts voters on Tuesday said “yes” to maintaining a 2016 law that extended nondiscrimination protections to transgender people, including their use of public bathrooms and locker rooms that align with their gender identity.

With nearly 50 percent of precincts reporting, the “Yes” vote garnered 70 percent of the vote, compared to 30 for the “No” vote. The results are pending official confirmation.

“Massachusetts voters reaffirmed our Commonwealth as a place that fiercely defends our basic values of dignity and respect for everyone,” Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement shared with NBC News. “At a time when transgender rights are being threatened nationally, we absolutely must preserve the rights we have secured at the state level.”


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