Question 3 May Have Lost,
But Here’s How It Won

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Congratulations to the conservative activists who put Question 3 on the Massachusetts ballot by getting 50,000 signatures in a short time last year.

The referendum that asked voters to repeal the pro-transgenderism Bathroom Bill lost big on Tuesday – it appears by about two to one. But it succeeded in ways more profound than a mere short-term electoral victory might have.


Let us count the ways:

1.  More People Know About the Dangers of Public Bathrooms

Because of the No on 3 campaign, it’s now clear to millions of people in Massachusetts that biological males are using public bathrooms and locker rooms meant for women and girls, which means more people are on their guard. Even people who voted Yes on Question 3 are going to think twice about sending underage daughters into a public bathroom officially designated for women without taking some sort of precaution.

This awareness alone will likely result in fewer deprivations of safety and dignity.

Liberals may pride themselves on their supposed open-mindedness, but they tend to keep a close eye on their kids.

2.  The People Have Been Consulted, and Put On Notice

Most Massachusetts voters support making transgender people a protected class even in public bathrooms. That’s clear from the result on Tuesday. It lends a certain legitimacy to the proceedings to know that the people have had their say. That’s a good thing.

But it’s also a snapshot in time. Public opinion is changeable as long as the public continues to learn facts. And when they hear new facts in the future, people will remember that some among them once offered a different way.

If a majority of people change their mind some day, their course of action will be clear thanks to Question 3.

3.  Businesses Are Now On Notice

Many Massachusetts businesses officially sided with Yes on 3, but business owners aren’t kidding themselves about the problem. Businesses want as many people as possible to be their customers – not just people on one side of a political divide.

How businesses respond to the problem of bathrooms and locker rooms will help determine which ones succeed and which ones fail. Look for businesses to try to find ways to make everyone happy, and not just left-wing activists.

4.  Pro-Transgender Ideology Has Been Resisted

A major goal of the transgender movement is to stifle disagreement. This is why we hear leftist rhetoric claiming that opposing the demands of transgenderism is not merely wrong or misguided, but amounts to “hate.”

Conservatives don’t accuse pro-transgenderism adherents of hate because of their political opinions. We accuse them of being wrong.

And we need to keep saying it. Question 3 was one vehicle to do it. More are in the offing.

Transgenderism wins when people stop telling the truth about human sexuality. The truth is that people are born (not “assigned”) male and female, and that while alternative theories of sexuality are possible, encouraging them leads to unhappiness.

5.  Totalitarianism on the Left Has Been Exposed

Certain tactics of certain members of the pro-transgenderism movement during the Question 3 campaign leave a lasting impression.

Such as:

—  A left-wing ad firm’s publicly labeling opponents of forcing women to share bathrooms and locker rooms with biological males as an uncouth term best left out of most private conversations

—  Staff at a public high school organizing students on election day to walk out of school to support a particular side on a political question

These actions aren’t just misguided; they’re disgraceful. They’ll be remembered by centrists who in the future evaluate people who make public arguments not just by what they argue but by how they argue it.

On that score, it’s important for conservatives to keep the argument about dignity, morality, sanity, and human happiness. Vulgarity, slander, impropriety, and indoctrination are best left in their natural habitat.


It took a long time for Massachusetts to get to where it’s at. It may take a long time to bring it back.

The journey starts not with victories but with resistance. We must first resist the wrongheadedness of our currently dominant culture before we can persuade our fellow citizens of its wrongheadedness.

Question 3 did that.