By Grace Carr
Hundreds of U.S. mayors came together Sunday to endorse Massachusetts’ protections for transgender persons, insisting that the protections are necessary to continue the state’s dedication to inclusion.
Leaders gathered in Boston at a four-day U.S. Conference of Mayors to call on voters to reaffirm Massachusetts’ law that provides transgender people with special protections. They designated the meeting as the bipartisan “Mayors for Freedom Coalition of the Freedom for All Massachusetts” campaign, NBC10 reports.
A majority of Massachusetts voters don’t want to repeal a 2016 law that gives transgender persons greater public accommodation protections, according to a WBUR May poll. Fifty-two percent of voters want to keep the law, while 38 percent want to repeal it.
“This law has been in place in Massachusetts for two years with no issues, and a similar local ordinance has been in place in Boston for more than a decade,” Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Sunday, NBC10 reports. “In that time, we have become a more welcoming and inclusive city for our transgender friends and neighbors.”
The Sunday conference comes after “Keep MA Safe” — a group dedicated to repealing Massachusetts’ 2016 bill that allows transgenders to use the restroom according to their preferred gender — started a petition to repeal the law. The petition received more than 34,200 signatures, where 32,375 signatures were needed to ensure that the issue would appear on the state ballot in November 2018.
Massachusetts voters will determine whether the 2016 law remains in place in November.
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