The transgender rights law has gone into effect in Massachusetts, accompanied by what will ideally be a failed attempt to repeal it.
The law, signed by Governor Baker last July after passage by the Legislature, assures that transgender people will be able to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to their gender identity, protecting this oft-abused group from discrimination.
Although the law poses no threat to anyone, opponents, including those in Massachusetts, make the argument that it will allow male sexual predators to claim gender identity as a pretense for entering women's bathrooms or locker rooms. As there are no armed gender guards outside bathrooms and locker rooms, sexual predators can enter without any pretense whatsoever. This preposterous argument is no more than fear-mongering.
Opponents of the law have collected enough signatures — not hard to do with the help of a hired signature-collecting firm — to put repealing the transgender bill on the 2018 state ballot, As the referendum question would take away rights granted to a specific group it may not survive a court challenge or pass muster with the attorney general's office.
Should the question be on the ballot in 2018, transgender rights will have been the law for two years, and as was the case with Massachusetts' precedent-setting gay marriage law, the arguments in opposition will have been fully exposed as groundless. North Carolina's law denying transgender rights has caused the state plenty economically and is immoral. It seems unlikely that Massachusetts will go down the same path.