A new Massachusetts law that protects transgender people from discrimination is in danger of being repealed by public vote, after the organization fighting it gathered enough signatures to send the referendum to voters in 2018.
Governor Charlie Baker signed Senate Bill 2407 into law in May, effectively banning discrimination based on gender identity and ensuring that transgender people can use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
According to Buzzfeed, the Keep MA Safe organization has been using fear tactics to spread misinformation about the "transgender bathroom myth" while gathering signatures to repeal the law.
The transgender bathroom myth is the imaginary concept that allowing transgender people to use restrooms that match their gender identity will inspire male sexual predators to identify as female so they can gain access to women's restrooms in order to sexually assault children.
In accordance, the Keep MA Safe website claims the new law, which had been on the books in Boston since 2002 without issue, exposes girls to "sexual predators who claim ‘confusion’ about their gender as a cover for their evil intentions."
Dominic Holden reports Keep MA Safe gathered 34,231 valid signatures using this logic, thereby forcing a referendum.
"We think it is a dangerous law and we would like to repeal it," Keep MA Safe spokesperson Andrew Beckwith told Holden. "The definition of gender identity in the law is extremely broad and ripe for abuse."
Beckwith added: "It doesn’t matter how a 50-year-old man identifies. If he has a male body, I have problem with him being in a locker room with my daughter."
LGBT advocates, however, are confident that the public will ultimately vote the right way.
Said Kasey Suffredini, chief program officer of the LGBT group Freedom for All Americans, in a statement: "When presented with the question of whether to continue to treat transgender people as equal members of the Commonwealth in 2018, they will vote yes."