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EDlection2018: Massachusetts Voters Affirm Anti-discrimination Law in Ballot Referendum, a Victory for Transgender Students

By Mark Keierleber | November 6, 2018

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EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

As the Trump administration considers a change to Title IX that would define sex as immutable and determined by a person’s genitals at birth, Massachusetts voters chose a different course on Tuesday.

Through a ballot referendum, voters chose to uphold a 2016 anti-discrimination law that protects the rights of transgender people to use bathrooms and other facilities that align with their gender identity, according to MassLive. With more than half of precincts reporting, the measure had 68 percent support.

Massachusetts is the first state to consider transgender rights on a voter referendum. Though the law would affect transgender youth, the state has a separate law that protects transgender youth in schools.

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Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement the vote shows Massachusetts is a place “that fiercely defends our basic values of dignity and respect for everyone.”

Tonight, we sent a message not just to transgender people and their families and friends here in Massachusetts, but to the entire country,” Rose said. “At a time when transgender rights are being threatened nationally, we absolutely must preserve the rights we have secured at the state level.”

EDlection2018: This is one of several dozen races we’ve analyzed for the 2018 midterms that could go on to influence state or federal education policy. Get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox; sign up for The 74 Newsletter.

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