Statements of Janson Wu and Jennifer Levi

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

Yesterday Massachusetts voters resoundingly voted “yes” on Ballot Question 3, affirming the rights of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

“This vote shows the heart and strength of Massachusetts voters and of the Commonwealth’s transgender community,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD). “This was an incredibly smart and well-run campaign, fueled by thousands of volunteers and supporters. Transgender people, along with countless family members, neighbors and allies, put everything on the line, sharing personal stories, having real conversations with voters, and working countless hours, month after month. We’re incredibly proud today.”

Jennifer Levi, GLAD’s Transgender Rights Project Director, said “The truth is that having to campaign for our rights and prove our humanity was hard work and took a physical and emotional toll on many members of our community.  The success of the campaign rested on people speaking about the reality of their lives and the lives of those who they love, support, and depend upon. Yesterday’s momentous vote shows what is possible when we work together and show up for one another.”

This vote marks the first time in our nation’s history that transgender rights have been upheld on a statewide ballot and was closely watched across the country. “Much work lies ahead of us,” said Levi, “but this historic victory gives hope to transgender people and all fair minded people everywhere, and buoys us as we keep moving forward together.”

GLAD, a member of the executive committee of the Yes on 3 campaign, has led efforts to pass transgender nondiscrimination protections throughout New England, including the Massachusetts law upheld by this vote, and has litigated ground-breaking transgender rights cases including two current challenges to the Trump administration’s ban on transgender members of the military, Doe v. Trump and Stockman v. Trump.

The Freedom for All Massachusetts/Yes On 3 campaign executive committee was comprised of local and national organizations, including ACLU Massachusetts, BAGLY (Boston Alliance of Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Youth), Fenway Health, Freedom for All Americans, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), Greater Boston PFLAG, Human Rights Campaign, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and MassEquality.