Faith-based gathering rejects repeal of trans-rights law

Reverend Joy K. Fallon, senior minister at King's Chapel, leading a gathering to support Massachusetts's recently passed transgender-equality law on October 13, 2016. Days after the law went into effect on October 1, an anti-transgender advocacy group presented enough signatures to ask voters for a repeal in 2018. Photo courtesy of Freedom Massachusetts.

A broad coalition of supporters gathered at Boston’s King’s Chapel on October 13 to stand in solidarity against transgender discrimination and support for the Massachusetts law enacted October 1 that extends full equal rights to transgender people.

The gathering comes in response to the previous day’s news that the anti-transgender advocacy group Keep Massachusetts Safe has collected enough signatures to put a referendum question on the 2018 ballot asking voters to repeal the newly enacted and hard-won law.

At the gathering, “many told personal stories about how the law’s passage has made them or their friends and family members finally feel safe, welcome, and accepted in the state they call home,” according to a Freedom Massachusetts press release:

Reverend Joy K. Fallon, who is the senior minister at King’s Chapel, kicked off the morning’s faith-centered event by speaking about her church’s commitment to equality. She also introduced Freedom Massachusetts Co-Chair Mason Dunn, who drove home the message that a small group of extremists is no match for the broad coalition that helped pass and will help defend the law.

“We are here today to declare that we are committed and prepared to protect this law. It takes less than 1% of people to put transgender protections on the ballot. But when presented before a majority of voters, fairness will win. … Through our hard work, the people of our Commonwealth will do the right thing and wholeheartedly support equal treatment for all, including our transgender friends, neighbors, and family members in 2018,” said Fallon. …

The office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth confirmed this week that opponents of #TransLawMA have collected enough signatures to bring the law to a 2018 ballot measure. For the next two years, Freedom Massachusetts will commit itself to defeating this ballot measure and all other efforts to rollback protections for transgender people in our state.

Massachusetts’ non-discrimination law was updated this year to include transgender people in public places and took effect October 1.