McLean’s leadership responds to a ballot initiative in Massachusetts regarding transgender rights
October 25, 2018
We strive to ensure that McLean Hospital is a diverse and inclusive environment, where everyone feels safe, respected, and free to be themselves without judgment or prejudice, and we firmly stand in support of our friends, colleagues, and patients who are transgender. This is why we are concerned about ballot Question 3, which, if defeated, could abolish the state law that bans discrimination against transgender people in places of public accommodation, including restaurants, hospitals, and restrooms.
It is important to note that the wording of the referendum is confusing. A “yes” vote would keep the current law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in place. A “no” vote would repeal the current law prohibiting discrimination.
If voters do not uphold this law, all transgender individuals in Massachusetts will be affected. As an organization that is dedicated to caring for the most vulnerable individuals in our community, the potential for the revocation of transgender rights is distressing because of the severe health (including mental health) disparities already faced by this population due to stigma, discrimination, and violence.
A YES on Question 3 will uphold the current law that protects transgender individuals from discrimination.
The original law added gender identity to the list of identities—such as race, religion, and disability—already protected from discrimination in public places
This type of law is common, with 18 states, Washington, DC, and more than 200 cities and towns having passed similar laws
This law does not weaken or affect existing laws against illegal behavior, such as assault and harassment
Protecting transgender individuals from discrimination is supported by over 250 organizations around the country, such as the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, National Center for Victims of Crime, and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
A NO on Question 3 would repeal the law and threaten the safety and dignity of our transgender colleagues and patients.
McLean Hospital is joining with Partners HealthCare and hundreds of other health care organizations, businesses, and faith as well as government leaders in supporting the Freedom for All Massachusetts “Yes on 3” position opposing the repeal.
Courtney Beard, PhD, Director, Cognition and Affect Research and Education Laboratory; Co-Chair, Pride at McLean LGTBQ & Allies Employee Resource Group