Organizing opposition to I-1515

A crowd of about 150 people opposed to Initiative 1515 gathered in Renton, WA on Thursday. I-1515, which will need 246,000 valid signatures by July 8 to be on the November ballot,

would amend the Law Against Discrimination to state that, with exceptions, covered public and private entities may restrict access to "private facilities" to "biologically" male or female individuals regardless of their gender identity and limit state and local regulations governing gender-identity discrimination. It requires that public-school bathrooms and locker rooms open to multiple people. be sex segregated, and authorizes lawsuits against schools that grant students access to those facilities based on gender identity.

--Ballot Measure Summary

The campaign against the initiative is calling itself Washington Won't Discriminate, and is endorsed by Google, Microsoft, and Vulcan and others.

Appearing Thursday in support of the campaign were clergy members, state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, and transgender-community advocates, among others.

[The initiative would] not only encourage more discrimination and harassment of transgender people in our community, [but would also] have serious financial and legal consequences.

--Seth Kirby, chair or Washington Won't Discriminate

The group trying to foist the initiative on residents of the state is calling itself Just Wan't Privacy. They began gathering signatures last week.

I-1515 would amend the state’s discrimination law so that public and private entities could restrict access to “private facilities” to “biologically” male or female individuals regardless of their gender identity.

It also calls for limiting state and local regulations overseeing gender-identity discrimination and allowing lawsuits against schools that permit access to facilities based on gender identity.

--Kaeley Triller Haver, Just Want Privacy

The Just Want Privacy campaign includes executive leaders of the Family Policy Institute of Washington and Washington Women’s Network.

The latter group mentioned claims it advocates for the dignity of all women. Except transgender women, of course, who they consider to be "really men."

John Lovick, a former Snohomish County sheriff and county executive, told those gathered in Renton that “passing I-1515 and repealing nondiscrimination protection for transgender people will not make us safer.”

Discriminating against transgender people does nothing to reduce the risk of sexual assault.

--Andrea Piper-Wentland, executive director of the Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs

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