‘Bathroom Bill’ Opponents Release Ad Highlighting Fears About Sex Offenders

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/09/21/bathroom-bill-opponents-release-ad-highlighting-fears-about-sex-offenders/

A provocative new ad from opponents of the so-called Bathroom Bill shows a teen-age girl entering a women’s locker room just after a shady-looking man in a hooded sweatshirt goes in and hides in a bathroom stall.

The girl goes to a locker and starts to unbutton her shirt when she becomes aware that someone is staring at her from the stall.

“What does Massachusetts Question 3 mean to you?” a woman’s voice narrates over sinister-sounding music. “It means any man who says he is a woman can enter a women’s locker room, dressing room, or bathroom at any time — even convicted sex offenders.  And if you see something suspicious and say something to authorities, you could be the one arrested and fined up to 50,000 dollars.”

“Vote no on 3. This Bathroom Bill puts our privacy and safety at risk. It goes too far,” the narrator says.

The ad is sponsored by No On 3 – Keep Massachusetts Safe, a ballot question committee trying to persuade Massachusetts voters to repeal the July 2016 state statute that includes gender identity as a protected class in the state’s civil rights law when it comes to public accommodations. State law prohibits discrimination on the basis of several factors such as race, sex, and age – and, gender identity, too, since October 1, 2016, when the new law took effect.

The claim is that under the law men up to no good can falsely use transgenderism as a cover to gain access to facilities meant only for women and girls.

“It is clear that the politicians on Beacon Hill aren’t interested in protecting women, children and vulnerable minorities from convicted sex offenders,” said Debby Dugan, chairman of the “No” campaign, in a written statement.

The “No” campaign was asked by New Boston Post to substantiate the reference to $50,000 in the ad. A spokesman for the “No” campaign said a state statute (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 272, Section 98) provides for up to a $2,500 fine for discriminating on the basis of gender identity in public accommodations, but a connected statute (Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 151B, Section 5) provides for up to a $50,000 civil penalty for repeat offenders.

A spokesman for the Yes on 3 Campaign supporting the state’s gender-identity law said the new video uses scare tactics without evidence to justify opponents’ claims.

“This video flies in the face of the indisputable facts that show women — or anyone else for that matter — are absolutely not put at risk by this law, enacted by Governor Baker in 2016. This law simply protects transgender people from discrimination in public places and that is why law enforcement leaders from across Massachusetts and the leading sexual assault prevention groups support upholding this law,” said Kasey Suffredini, co-chairman of Yes on 3 Campaign, in a written statement. “The ‘no’ campaign has no data to back up their claims, and yet is attempting to scare voters, which is truly unfortunate.”

Question 3 goes to Massachusetts voters in the general election Tuesday, November 6.

To see the new ad, click here.