One year ago, on July 8, 2016, Beacon Hill decided to create new rights of sexual expression at the expense of the safety and privacy of women and children in Massachusetts. The “Bathroom and Locker Room Law” gave internal feelings the force of law, allowing men to enter private spaces normally reserved for women based solely on their feelings.
In response, concerned citizens leapt into action to put this novel law on the ballot for November of 2018. Throughout the summer of 2016, volunteers collected over 50,000 signatures to repeal the Bathroom and Locker Room Law. The organization these pro-women and pro-children activists launched, Keep MA Safe, has continued to raise awareness and mobilize the electorate in advance of the 2018 vote.
“Since this law was enacted, we’re hearing more and more about men brazenly entering women’s safe spaces and abusing them by taking videos and pictures when they’re most vulnerable and exposed,” said Chanel Prunier, chairman of the Keep MA Safe ballot committee which is leading the repeal effort.
“The first criminal court case in Wrentham District Court this year involved Gabriel Moniz taking pictures of a woman in a TJ Maxx women’s room on Christmas Eve. The woman had to call the police herself as store employees would not. Corporations, employees, and even the police are becoming more concerned about lawsuits than women’s safety. We need to repeal this law to restore women’s safety in private spaces,” said Prunier.
Keep MA Safe’s General Counsel, Andrew Beckwith, sees the need for education on what the law actually requires.
“Many people think it just means building a third bathroom for gender-confused individuals. It’s actually far worse than that. The law says men who say they feel like women must be allowed into women-only facilities,” said Beckwith.
There are steep penalties for violations of the new law as well, meaning that parents who try and stop men from entering their daughter’s locker room at the local YWCA, for example, could be fined or even jailed. Activists worry the law dangerously forces girls to ignore their red flags and boundaries for fear of a lawsuit. They argue that if women can’t speak up until they’re physically being harmed, it’s already too late.