The battle to roll back transgender access to bathrooms and locker rooms is on again in 2017.
Backers of 2016’s failed “bathroom bill” are trying again, along with efforts from state legislators.
The Just Want Privacy Campaign filed a new ballot initiative with the secretary of state Monday. Its goal: to repeal the Washington State Human Rights Commission’s open bathroom and locker room rules.
The initiative would remove protections for transgender people and require public schools to maintain gender specific facilities while providing accommodations for transgender students.
It would also allow businesses to determine their own bathroom and locker room policies.
A similar effort, I-1515, fell short in July when backers could not collect enough signatures in time to make the November ballot.
“The only restraint last year was time,” said the campaign’s chairman, Joseph Backholm, in a statement. “We will have six months instead of 10 weeks. We know that public opinion still strongly opposes open private spaces.”
A bill introduced this week in the Legislature, HB 1011, also calls for rewriting of the state’s nondiscrimation laws around transgender access to bathrooms, among other things, including blacklists and boycotts.
A group opposed to rewriting the state’s discrimination policies, Washington Won’t Discriminate, said Monday it was, “Ready to fight.”
“Washingtonians sent a clear message last year — we won’t discriminate,” said Seth Kirby, a transgender man and chairman of the group. “Voters didn’t buy the pitch that repealing our state’s nondiscrimination protections for transgender people would somehow make us safer.”