Anti-trans activists in Washington state fail

LGBT+ activists in Washington state waged a campaign against an anti-transgender petition drive. HRC photo.

by Rob Howard
Associate Editor

Since 2006, the state of Washington has protected transgender persons with a law prohibiting discrimination against them. A 2006 ruling by the state’s Human Rights Commission clarified the law in 2015.

A group called Just Want Privacy was formed to fight the law and the commission’s ruling. According to the Seattle Times, “Just Want Privacy has argued the rule could be used as a shield for sexual predators to enter such spaces and possibly harm women and children — actions that are already unlawful.”

The group announced Friday that, although they had gathered 240,000 signatures in a petition drive to get state question I-1552 on the ballot, the effort had failed to get the required number of signatures by Friday, the deadline for getting questions on the November ballot. The group failed in a similar attempt last year.

The Timesreport continued, saying, “Seth Kirby, Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, which opposed the initiative, hailed Friday’s developments.

“’We all care about safety and privacy, but people understand that repealing protections from discrimination for transgender people won’t make anyone safer,’ Kirby, a transgender man, said in a statement. ‘It’s already a felony to assault or harass someone in public facilities, and no one should have to prove their gender to self-appointed bathroom cops.’”

The Human Rights Campaign also commented on the anti-transgender group’s failure in its petition drive, saying, “’Anti-equality activists spent hundreds of thousands of dollars attempting to pass a shameful ballot measure aimed at discriminating against LGBTQ people, but thanks to the fair-minded people of Washington State, they have failed,’ said Marty Rouse, HRC National Field Director, after the Secretary of State’s office announcement Friday.

“’For months, our opponents attempted to garner enough signatures to put the fundamental civil rights of transgender people on the ballot. Their failure is a victory for equality and validation of Washington’s non-discrimination laws that ensure fair and equal treatment for LGBTQ people in housing, employment, and public accommodations. HRC was proud to work closely with the Washington Won’t Discriminate campaign and will keep up the fight in Washington and across the country.’”

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – July 10, 2017 @ 11 a.m