My father lives in Washington — at least for the next couple of weeks as he is in the process of moving back down to Oregon — and Carlos and I were married out there, so I always thought of the state as being progressive and open-minded and tolerant.
And while I am still thinking most of Washington is like that, there are a few conservatives in the state really trying my patience.
The conservative group, “Just Want Privacy”, led by the Family Policy Institute of Washington [FPIW], has filed a ballot initiative that seeks to overturn the state’s regulations ensuring equal access to restrooms and other facilities for transgender people and have asked for specific changes to the law:
To declare “null and void and of no effect” the Human Rights Commission’s [HRC] rules guaranteeing bathroom access for transgender people.
To ban the HRC from ever adopting rules related to gender identity in sex-segregated facilities.
To clarify that the state’s nondiscrimination laws still allow restrooms and locker rooms to be designated “for the exclusive use by biological male persons only or biological female persons only” and that no others (i.e. transgender people) are guaranteed such access.
To preempt any municipality from passing its own bathroom protections for transgender people.
To prohibit transgender students from accessing sex-segregated bathrooms in schools, only allowing them to access to “single-stall bathrooms, uni-sex bathrooms, or controlled use of faculty bathrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms.”.
To allow students to sue schools for $2,500 “for each instance in which they encountered a person of the opposite sex while accessing a public school student restroom, locker room, or shower room designated for use by the aggrieved students’ sex,” as well as monetary damages “from the offending public school for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm suffered.”
While just last week the South Dakota Legislature tried to pass an anti-trans measure similar to this — it was vetoed by the governor and then failed to garner enough votes to override the veto — the Washington measure is the first anti-trans law advanced through a voter initiative.
So we can hope that the people of Washington are more accepting and understanding of trans issues than their elected officials, and that they work toward removing the bigots from office.
I’ll say it again: if a transgender female enters a female restroom it’s highly likely that she just wants to pee — and the same goes for trans males — and for anyone to suggest they are in that bathroom for any other reason is pure ignorance.