A new campaign video released Thursday by No on 3 - Keep MA Safe, a group that wants to repeal the state’s transgender antidiscrimination law, has drawn a strong rebuke from the ballott committee seeking to uphold the law.
The 30-second ad shows a man in a hooded sweatshirt in a women’s locker room, watching a teenage girl from a bathroom stall before exiting the stall as the girl unbuttons her shirt.
Kasey Suffredini, a Yes on 3 campaign co-chairman, said the group behind the video “has no data to back up their claims, and yet is attempting to scare voters, which is truly unfortunate.”
“This video flies in the face of the indisputable facts that show women - or anyone else for that matter - are absolutely not put at risk by this law, enacted by Governor Baker in 2016.,” he said in a statement. “This law simply protects transgender people from discrimination in public places and that is why law enforcement leaders from across Massachusetts and the leading sexual assault prevention groups support upholding this law.”
A yes vote on Question 3 on the Nov. 6 ballot would keep in place the current law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation. A no vote would repeal the law.
The vote is being closely watched nationwide because it offers the nation’s first public referendum on transgender rights in the state that first introduced gay marriage.
Last week, a study refuted that the state’s transgender antidiscrimination law threatens public safety, finding no relation between public transgender bathroom access and crimes that occur in bathrooms.
In the campaign video, a narrator intones, “What does Massachusetts Question 3 mean to you? It means any man who says he is a woman can enter a woman’s locker room, dressing room, or bathroom at anytime, even convicted sex offenders.”
“And if you see something suspicious and say something to authorities? You could be the one arrested and fined up to $50,000. Vote No on 3. This bathroom bill puts our privacy and safety at risk. It goes too far.”
“It is clear that the politicians on Beacon Hill aren’t interested in protecting women, children and vulnerable minorities from convicted sex offenders,” said Debby Dugan, chairwoman of the “no” campaign, in a Thursday statement.