Tuesday, June 05, 2018

I Don’t Know About You, But It Is Not A Sure Thing

We have another nail biter coming up this November and it is not a candidate.
Repeal of transgender protections unlikely
Poll shows 52% of voters support keeping law in place
By Maeve Duggan
June 1, 2018

VOTERS IN MASSACHUSETTS this November will be asked whether to uphold or repeal a 2016 law prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in public places. The law allows transgender  people to use bathrooms and lockers rooms consistent with their gender identity, rather than their sex at birth.

The idea of repealing the law does not fare well in terms of public support. A new WBUR poll out this week shows only 38 percent support repeal, while 52 percent support keeping it in place. An earlier Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey, taken before the law went into effect, showed a similar 53 percent of voters supported the proposal at the time.
So what can we do?

Well Harvey Milk had the right idea in 1978, 
Gay brothers and sisters, you must come out. Come out to your parents. I know that it is hard and will hurt them, but think about how they will hurt you in the voting booth! Come out to your relatives. Come out to your friends, if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors, to your fellow workers, to the people who work where you eat and shop. Come out only to the people you know, and who know you, not to anyone else. But once and for all, break down the myths. Destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake.
We must come out, it changes people minds, the article goes on to say…
Pew also found that knowing someone who is transgender makes a difference on this question; 60 percent of those who know a transgender person think they should be able to use the restroom conforming to their identity, compared to 47 percent among those who do not know someone who is  transgender. This “proximity effect” is reminiscent of the debate over same sex marriage. Before the Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage nationwide, those who were close with a gay or lesbian person were more likely to support their right to marry.

But the proximity effect is likely to be less potent than it was in the public debate over same sex marriage. As recently as 2017, just 37 percent of Americans said they know someone who is transgender – far fewer than the 87 percent who said in a 2013 poll that they know someone who is gay or lesbian.
Let’s face it a two percent lead is not encouraging, it is within the margin of error of the poll.

The haters cannot win and there is going to be big money coming in from out-of-state bigots. Massachusetts is going to be the battle cry for the evangelical Christians, for the white supremacists, for the homophobes and transphobes. You are going to see the most repulsive ads. You are going to see the dirtiest grubbiest man coming out of bathrooms. You are going to see Pride portrayed in the worst possible light.  You are going to see staged incidents.

When Harvey Milk made his plea, California was in the middle of a ballot initiative just like the one that Massachusetts is in now. They were caught up in the Anita Bryant “Save the Children” to criminalize homosexuals; Save Our Children was a coalition of conservative Christians. Sound familiar?

The only way to counter this blitz of hate and lies is with us being out.

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