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This week for the WestfordCAT news question of the week, the candidates were asked to share their opinion on ballot question three regarding transgender anti-discrimination. The incumbent, state Rep. James Arciero proudly supported anti-discrimination protection for transgender individuals and voted in favor of them twice [see below]. The incumbent said he will also vote yes on question three, protecting the anti-discrimination laws which are already in place. His Republican opponent, Kathy Lynch, is against these protections and this concerns me.
Ms. Lynch is probably best known around town for her questions and comments at the October 23, 2017, School Committee meeting regarding Westford Public School’s transgender policy. During this meeting, Ms. Lynch was in vehement opposition to the adoption of this policy. She was in opposition of an anti-discrimination policy which protects transgender children in schools. However, this is nothing surprising for a candidate who has been in opposition to anti-discrimination laws which can be traced back to her writings which were published in June 2016.
Ms. Lynch has campaigned on the pledges to “Keep one-sided political activities out of schools” and “Encourage more parental involvement and parental rights until children are adults.” In the statement she gave to WestfordCAT news Ms. Lynch elaborates “this law bases the definition of gender identity on what is in the person’s mind, there is no way to tell if a person is truly sincere or wanting to take advantage of the law to gain access into private areas.” This is coded language used to shroud her misguided beliefs and opposition to anti-discrimination policies.
Ms. Lynch has demonstrated a clear lack of understanding of the School Committee’s policy, state law and federal anti-discrimination statutes. How can we in good conscious elect someone, not only with such a belief but with no knowledge of policy? This is concerning not only because of the possible threat she poses to anti-discrimination laws, but the community of Westford. We are a welcoming community and an accepting community. Candidates like Ms. Lynch do nothing to continue the positive growth of communities like ours, they actively work to divide them.
Jim Arciero has a record of uplifting our community, not dividing it. He will continue to do so in pursuit of building stronger, better communities. I urge everyone who is voting yes on three or wants to work towards a united community to vote for Jim Arciero this November. — Diane Hendriks, Westford, MA