Bedford Residents in Support of “Yes on 3” for the November 6 Election

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By Emily Mitchell

A group of Bedford residents, working in conjunction with Bedford Embraces Diversity and the Violence Prevention Coalition, are organizing support for the Yes on 3 campaign, sponsored by Freedom for All Massachusetts. The campaign encourages voters to approve ballot question 3 in November, to uphold existing laws protecting transgender people from discrimination in public places, such as movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals, and bathrooms.

“This campaign is critically important,” said Tina Nappi, one of the local organizers. “We need to show that Massachusetts will not tolerate discrimination against anyone for any reason. Voting YES on 3 affirms respect and basic dignity for transgender people—our children and family members, friends, colleagues, and neighbors.”

The group has prepared a flyer, based on a similar document from LexPride, outlining the basics of the ballot question and debunking some common misconceptions about the existing legislation. Over the past few weeks, they have obtained signatures of support from more than seventy Bedford residents and community leaders, demonstrating Bedford’s commitment to non-discrimination and its status as a welcoming town for all people.

Readers wishing to review the flyer and add their own names can do so here: https://tinyurl.com/Yeson3Bedford

Hard copies of the flyer will be available at the Bedford Embraces Diversity booth on Bedford Day, along with stickers promoting Yes on 3 and a large posterboard where visitors can add their names in support of the initiative.

“Bedford Embraces Diversity advocates inclusion and acceptance for all residents, regardless of race, religion, disability, lifestyle, gender orientation, military, or cultural status,” said BED board member Tricia Anderson, one of the residents spearheading the initiative. “As an organization, we denounce all acts of bullying, hate, and violence towards any individual or group because of visible or invisible differences. As such, we believe that a vote for YES on question 3 is a vote against discrimination and exclusion. It is a vote for inclusivity.”

Bedford Embraces Diversity and the Violence Prevention Coalition are also sponsoring a workshop featuring speakers from Freedom for All Massachusetts, discussing their advocacy work and offering ways for people to get involved with the effort, including phone banking, canvassing, and one-on-one conversations with fellow voters about the ballot question. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, October 3, at 7:00 pm in the Flint Room at Town Center. More information about the workshop will be added to BeTC as it becomes available.

Nappi added, “I urge everyone to look beyond the scare tactics and myths that likely will be perpetuated by anti-LBGTQ activists in the coming weeks. A recent study by The Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law showed that transgender equality laws do not jeopardize safety for the public in bathrooms. Transgender people themselves are vulnerable and experience high rates of harassment and violence.”

The Williams Institute study was published in the Boston Globe earlier this week. Another research study, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality before the 2016 law was passed, outlines the discrimination transgender people have faced in Massachusetts. It can be found here: https://www.transequality.org/sites/default/files/docs/usts/USTSMAStateReport%281017%29.pdf

SIGNATURES RECEIVED AS OF SEPTEMBER 13, 2018

Rabbi Susan Abramson, Joel Alper, Lori Alper, Tricia Anderson (Bedford Embraces Diversity), Sue Baldauf (Youth & Family Services, Violence Prevention Coalition), Marilou Barsam (Bedford Embraces Diversity), David Bernstein, Diane Bernstein, Kieran Binney, Renu Bostwick, Leslie Corin-Ash, Judi Curcio, Sharon Curtin Keane, Marya Dantzer, Neetu Devdas (Bedford Embraces Diversity), Bob Dorer, Sarah Dorer, Christine Dudley-Marling, Peggy Duesenberry, Carol Epple, George Epple, Caroline Fedele (Selectman), Rachel Field, Diana Finer, Margot Fleischman (Selectman), Rev. Frank Fornaro, Myra Fournier, Rev. John Gibbons, Chad Gillette, Julie Gillette, Rep. Ken Gordon, Robin Grace Silbert, Laurie Groves, Ann Guay, Chuck Hacala, Elizabeth Hacala, Abby Hafer, Mimi Henning (Bedford Embraces Diversity), Venus Ho, Nibha Jolly (Bedford Embraces Diversity), Aisling Keane, Miranda Keane, Robert Keane, Rose Keane, Jennifer Kelley, Susan Lincoln, Alan MacRobert, Michael McAllister (School Committee), Julie McCay Turner, Emily Mitchell (Library Trustee, POMS President), John Mitchell, Cynthia Mork, Holly Munsie, Tina Nappi, Rebecca Green Neale, Renae Nichols, Kati Oates, Noreen O’Gara, Joel Parks, Ed Pierce (Selectman), Zoe Pierce, Dori Pulizzi, Helen Pulizzi, Michael Pulizzi, Anita Raj, Mike Rosenberg (Selectman, Bedford Embraces Diversity), JoAnn Santiago, Sarah Scoville, David Southard, Nina Tate, Joan Turnberg, Lee Vorderer, Rev. Chris Wendell, Rev. Rachel Wildman.


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