Another Fear-Mongering Ad on the Transgender Rights Law and Question 3

The group working to overturn the state's anti-discrimination law has released a new video.

Photo via Slabbers

We knew this was coming.

As we get closer to the date when Massachusetts will vote on whether to undo the state’s new transgender protections law, a group backing the repeal effort has released yet another fear-mongering ad.

The video, released by by the No on 3 campaign this week and edited like a spooky short film, depicts a scary-looking man in a hooded sweatshirt lurking in a women’s bathroom stall and spying on a young girl as she begins to change, before menacingly opening the stall door and (I’m serious) making what sounds like a monster movie growl.

The ad suggests that criminals might abuse the anti-discrimination law to gain access to women’s facilities and commit crimes, and it’s designed to make voters feel creeped out by the concept of letting people use the facilities that correspond to their gender identity, and thus vote to overturn the law via Question 3 in November.

“What does Massachusetts Question 3 mean to you? It means any man who says he is a woman can enter a woman’s locker room, dressing room, or bathroom at any time—even convicted sex offenders,” the ad’s narrator says ominously. “And if you see something suspicious and say something to authorities, you could be the one arrested and fined up to $50,000. Vote no on 3. This bathroom bill puts our privacy and safety at risk. It goes too far.”

Scary stuff. Except as has been shown again and again, it’s nonsense. A study out last week, which examined several communities in Massachusetts, found no link between anti-discrimination rules and crime in bathrooms. None. It is also, for the record, still illegal to commit sex crimes in bathrooms, or to falsely assert a gender identity for an “improper purpose.”

But still, this is the argument they’re going with. “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, No on 3 chairwoman, says in a statement.

A recent poll found voters overwhelmingly do not agree.

You can watch the video here.