QUESTION OF THE WEEK: State Senate Candidates Say How They’ll Vote on Ballot Question #3

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In an effort to help voters decide which candidate to select in the Nov. 6 election, WestfordCAT News is asking a question each week of those candidates who will represent Westford.  Republican candidate for state Senate John MacDonald and Democratic candidate Edward J. Kennedy, both of Lowell, are vying for the First Middlesex District seat covering Groton, Dunstable, Lowell, Pepperell, Tyngsborough, and Westford.
QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Ballot question #3 seeks to add gender identity to the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in public places such as bathrooms. Will you vote yes or no on this proposed law? A yes vote would keep the current law as is, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity in public places. A no vote would repeal the existing law.
Democrat Edward J. Kennedy is a candidate for state Senate. COURTESY PHOTO

Democrat Edward J. Kennedy is a candidate for state Senate. COURTESY PHOTO

 

EDWARD J. KENNEDY – Lowell Democrat

I intend to vote yes on Question #3. Since the Massachusetts Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law was passed in 2016, there have been no reported incidents in the Commonwealth that would support a repeal of the existing law. A yes vote maintains the status quo. A yes vote protects against discrimination and supports basic values such as fairness, dignity and respect for all.

Republican John MacDonald of Lowell. Candidate for state Senate. COURTESY PHOTO

Republican John MacDonald of Lowell. Candidate for state Senate. COURTESY PHOTO

 

JOHN MACDONALD – Lowell Republican

Absolutely I am 100 percent against Discrimination! Massachusetts isn’t about discrimination. I’m absolutely opposed to discrimination. No one wants discrimination. But here’s the problem with this question and questions like it…. This is a yes means no… and a no means yes question. One-third of the people polled in the recent UMASS Lowell poll are confused about the question and how they will even answer.

This brings us to a much bigger issue, which is, why the state of Massachusetts can’t craft straightforward ballot questions. Why can’t we produce questions that even make sense to people. If one-third of the people, don’t understand the answers of the question, then how do we get results that will make most people confident in the outcome? We certainly can’t discriminate against anyone, because of their gender, but we can’t ignore people who are concerned about safety and privacy.

People on both sides of the issue are just looking to use the bathroom safely. Judge Feeley is a prime example of someone who has been soft on offenders breaking the law. We need judges to do their jobs, we need to create a bill allowing Legislators to terminate judges that are deemed derelict of their sworn duties.

Although I will be voting yes, I believe this question is flawed. Judges need to be held accountable and questions need to be clearer.