Businesses Warn Voters Of Economic Losses If Mass. Repeals Transgender Protections

Dozens of business leaders in Massachusetts are warning voters that repealing the state's transgender protections law — which is on the November ballot — would have a significant economic impact.

More than 50 businesses gathered Tuesday at the Eastern Bank headquarters in downtown Boston to endorse the "Yes on 3" campaign, which supports upholding the 2016 law that protects transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations.

Richard Jeanneret of the accounting firm Ernst and Young, which has a strong presence in Massachusetts, said the state plays an important role in setting precedent for the rest of the country.

"This is such an important and far-reaching vote for civil rights, in my opinion, all around the United States today," he said. "So if something happens here, not only are we likely to see transgender rollback in other places, but you're also likely to see further attacks on civil rights."

In a statement about the meetup Tuesday, Freedom For All Massachusetts — the group backing the "Yes on 3" campaign — said:

Repeal of the law risks Massachusetts going down the path of North Carolina, which lost thousands of new jobs and $630 million in economic investment when the state legislature passed an anti-transgender law. Inclusive policies like Massachusetts’ current law, on the other hand, bring a range of economic benefits.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, State Street, Biogen, John Hancock, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, MassMutual and Partners HealthCare were among the companies who turned out to show their support, the group said.



More from WBUR

Listen Live