A group of advocates for survivors of domestic and sexual violence gathered to speak about their support for civil rights protections for transgender people.
Yesterday, Massachusetts voters rejected an attempt to repeal a 2016 law prohibiting public accommodations discrimination against transgender people. Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Gina Scaramella offered the following statement in response:
“This is an important victory for transgender people, their families, and our entire state. Every resident deserves dignity, respect, and safety in public places like restaurants, retail stories, and public restrooms. Although those who sought to repeal our 2016 civil rights law falsely claimed otherwise, the truth is that treating all residents with dignity and respect is a powerful tool for preventing sexual assault and harassment. The 2016 law that voters elected to keep today increases the safety of us all.
“We know from our work that protecting transgender people from discrimination has zero negative consequences on the safety of women and children—including, and most especially, those women and children who are transgender. We also know that transgender people themselves face some of the highest rates of sexual violence: nearly one in two have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime. The survivors of sexual assault that I know at BARCC never wanted this law repealed in their name.
“The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center serves people of all genders, including women, men, and people who are nonbinary, genderqueer, gender-nonconforming, intersex, and transgender. We were proud to be part of the over 1,500 coalition partners who worked to keep civil rights protections for transgender people intact in the Commonwealth.”