GENDER

State ballot Question 3, which asks voters if they want to keep a transgender civil rights law, has put the spotlight on bathrooms. But the marketplace for bathrooms isn’t waiting for election day. There’s a wide range of changes underway.

From left, NEPR's Kari Njiiri, Matt Wilder of the Yes on 3 campaign, and Andrew Beckwith of the No on 3 campaign.
Joyce Skowyra / NEPR

Massachusetts ballot Question 3, if passed, would keep in place a 2016 state law that protects transgender people from discrimination in restaurants, stores, movie theaters and other public spaces.

People who were born in New York City and do not identify as male or female can now select the gender-neutral designation of X on their birth certificates.

Mayor Bill de Blasio signed the provision into law last week. In 2014, the city passed a law that removed the requirements of surgery and legal name-change for transgender people who wished to change the gender designated on their birth certificate from female to male or male to female.

Should the law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in places of public accommodation be removed from the books? That’s one of the questions that will be placed in voters’ hands in the coming weeks.

The law under consideration mandates that it’s illegal to deny service to transgender people in hotels, stores, restaurants or other public places.

It was overwhelmingly passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Baker, and has been in effect for just over two years.

The trauma of sexual assault or harassment is not only hard to forget; it may also leave lasting effects on a woman's health. This finding of a study published Wednesday adds support to a growing body of evidence suggesting the link.

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