Massachusetts Overwhelmingly Votes #YesOn3

It's a major victory for transgender protections across the state.

Last night's Midterm Elections saw a flood of women, LGBTQ politicians, and candidates of color elected into federal, state, and local offices around the country.

But one key victory for the transgender community on the heels of the Trump administration's transphobic memo came in the form of a ballot initiative in Massachusetts: Some 68% of voters said "Yes" to Question 3 on the ballot, securing protections for trans people on the state level.

Question 3 asked voters whether the state should uphold Senate Bill 2407, a piece of legislation from 2016 that "prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public places like hotels, restaurants, and retail stores," reports The New York Times.

According to the Associated Press, critics purport that the law enables sexual predators to prey on women in these spaces. Those claims have little basis in reality, since The Williams Institute at UCLA found that there was no observable increase in assaults of that nature during the two-year period following the bill's passage into law.

In anticipation of the key vote, transgender advocates and allies around the country, including Laverne Cox and Pose star Indya Moore, spread the word about the ballot measure and its importance.

Natasha Moustache/Getty Images

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 24: Lavern Cox speaks at Boston Alliance of LGBTQ Youth on October 24, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. Yes on 3 is the coalition working to uphold the Massachusetts' transgender nondiscrimination law on the November 6, 2018 ballot. (Photo by Natasha Moustache/Getty Images)

News of the measure's approval last night spread like wildfire, and LGBTQ Twitter users shared their excitement and relief.

In a blog post celebrating the victory, advocacy group Freedom Massachusetts, which led the statewide #YesOn3 campaign to galvanize voters, shared insight into the uphill battle it took to defend the rights of transgender people across the state:

When opponents of transgender equality forced this law onto the ballot mere days after it became law in 2016, we knew we’d have a tough fight ahead. It was exhilarating to win something that everyone should have—basic protections under the law—but painful to so quickly face the prospect of having them stripped away by a vocal minority relying on fear and stereotypes.

We knew it would be toughest for our transgender community. They pushed through the fear and doubt, and we won tonight primarily because of the courage and sacrifice of the transgender community: Those who took the risk of being public and having conversations with voters about what it means to be transgender and those who worked just as hard behind the scenes.

Organizations like The Trevor Project and GLAAD offered their support, too.

"The Trevor Project hears every day from transgender and gender non-conforming youth in crisis who feel alone and afraid that their communities will not accept them for who they are," said Trevor Project CEO and executive director Amit Paley in a statement. "We’re proud of Massachusetts voters for using their voice to show transgender individuals that their rights are worth protecting, and that they are loved, valued, and never alone."

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