This ballot was the first ever on trans rights in a state after the mid-term elections. Massachusetts voters said "Yes" to upholding the law, which protects transgender people from discrimination in public places. With 70% of the votes, the "Yes" won against the 30% of "No".
"Massachusetts voters reaffirmed our Commonwealth as a place that fiercely defends our basic values of dignity and respect for everyone," Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement shared with NBC News. "At a time when transgender rights are being threatened nationally, we absolutely must preserve the rights we have secured at the state level."
"Voters in Massachusetts made history tonight and sent a clear message that transgender rights are human rights," Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of national LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, said in a statement. "This victory for transgender people all around the country is the latest sign that the Trump Administration’s attempts to discriminate against transgender Americans are completely out of step with where the American public is."
"When we introduce folks to the trans community… and have a conversation about our respect and dignity, we win," Reg Calcagno, an ACLU state advocacy strategist who had been working on Massachusetts' Yes on 3 campaign, explained. "I think about how much we can accomplish when we have those conversations."
Last April, voters defeated a similar legislation in Anchorage, Alaska.
Trans rights opponents created two other measures in Washington and Montana, but they didn't make it onto the ballot.
In Massachusetts, voters backed trans rights in a landmark referendum. The state is now one of 19 states and 250 municipalities to protect transgender people from discrimination in public places, according to the Movement Advancement Project, an LGBTQ think tank.