Ballot Initiative That Would Repeal Transgender Nondiscrimination Protections In Washington State Fails to Qualify

By Megan Clayton • July 7, 2017 • 6:10 pm

Opponents of transgender non-discrimination in Washington state have failed to submit the required signatures that would qualify an anti-transgender initiative for the fall 2017 ballot.

The Washington Secretary of State’s office announced today that backers of Initiative-1552 canceled their 3PM Friday appointment to turn in 259,622 valid signatures. This is the second year in a row that such an initiative has failed to qualify for the ballot; last year, a similar initiative, I-1515, met the same fate.

If it had made it onto the ballot and passed, I-1552 would have overridden state and local protections against gender-identity discrimination in certain public places, required that public schools restrict access to some facilities based on sex at birth, and allowed related lawsuits against schools.

“We all care about safety and privacy, but people understand that repealing protections from discrimination for transgender people won’t make anyone safer. Transgender people like me deserve the same basic protections as everyone else—to use public facilities with safety, privacy and dignity.” —Seth Kirby, Washington Won’t Discriminate Chair

“We all care about safety and privacy, but people understand that repealing protections from discrimination for transgender people won’t make anyone safer,” said Seth Kirby, a transgender man and Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate (WWD). “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.”

I-1552’s failure to qualify for the ballot is a huge victory for transgender Washingtonians and the No On I-1552 campaign organized by WWD. The group’s 500-strong coalition of businesses, labor unions, faith organizations, and others ran a robust “Decline to Sign” campaign that collected more than 50,000 pledges against I-1552 from Washington voters.

That campaign also recruited more than 100,000 activists and volunteers ready to oppose I-1552 if it had made it to the ballot, and it raised nearly $300,000 from thousands of people, groups and businesses including ACLU of Washington, Microsoft, Pride Foundation, Legal Voice and Freedom for All Americans.

FFAA was a founding member of Washington Won’t Discriminate and served on the campaign’s executive committee. Our team provided hands-on support and guidance to the local organizers on strategy, digital and communications. We are proud to have contributed to defeating this dangerous initiative, and are committed to collaborating with WWD in the future should other efforts to target transgender people take root in Washington.


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