Anti-Trans Initiative Fails, Again, to Get Necessary Signatures

This is the second time the group Just Want Privacy tried and failed to put trans access to bathrooms to a vote.

Last year, when backers of an initiative to restrict trans access to bathrooms failed to get enough signatures to make the ballot, they framed it as a timing issue. They’d started collecting signatures late in the game, and ran out of days on the calendar to hit the needed amount by the deadline.

It’s still unclear what excuses* will be used by the group Just Want Privacy this year, but Friday afternoon we learned that once again they’ve failed to collect enough signatures to put their measure on the ballot—this time after many months of canvassing the state looking for support on the measure.

The Secretary of State’s office said Friday afternoon that backers of I-1522 cancelled their appointment to turn in signatures; Friday was the deadline to submit signatures for ballot measures slated for this fall.

The news wasn’t a complete surprise. According to the group’s own count, it had only 206,004 of a desired 330,000 signatures as of Wednesday.

The news drew cheers from opponents of the measure, which they argue is just a way to demonize transgender people and restrict their rights.

“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, the transgender man who chairs Washington Won’t Discriminate, the No on I-1552 campaign. “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.”

Opponents of the measure also called on I-1522 backers to take the hint that Washington isn’t too hot on the idea of restricting transgender bathroom access.

“It’s time for the forces behind I-1552 to get the message—Washingtonians aren’t buying what they’re selling because in this state we value freedom and liberty, and we don’t want to go backwards from the progress we’ve made for LGBTQ people,” Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma, said in a release put out by Washington Won’t Discriminate.

dperson@seattleweekly.com

*Update: In a statement, Just Want Privacy seems to blame the lack of paid signature gatherers for their failure. “It has been over fifteen years since a volunteer team has been able to get an initiative on the ballot in Washington without millionaire funding,” the group said in a press release.

More in News & Comment

A Canadian safe consumption site in Lethbridge. Photo supplied by ARCHES in Lethbridge
County Plans for Second Safe Drug Site Put on Hold

The move follows intense resistance to the proposal from the suburbs.

David Swaintek stands in front of his junk removal truck. Photo courtesy of Hanna Swaintek/JDog Junk Removal Lake Union
Veteran’s Junk Removal Franchise Strives for Environmental Sustainability

In light of China’s recent recycling regulations, JDog Junk Removal could help reduce the burden on landfills.

Photo by Josh Kelety
King County Bans Chewing Tobacco in Sports Stadiums

Advocates say the ban will keep youth athletes from using dip.

King County Council Passes Renter Protections Bill

The legislation is intended to prevent landlords from discriminating based on the source of a prospective tenant’s income.

Westin Hotel workers hold up signs in support of housekeepers’ rights. Photo by Hannah Long-Higgins
Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative Still Awaits Full Rollout

Over a year after voter approval, the law’s framework remains unset and open for public suggestion.

Activists Begin Collecting Signatures for Carbon Fee Initiative

Following inaction from state legislators, supporters of I-1631 are aiming for the November ballot.

An artist rendering of the Tateuchi Center in Bellevue. Courtesy of the Tateuchi Center
County Funding for Eastside Performing Arts Center in Jeopardy

Bellevue’s long-planned Tateuchi Center could lose $1.2 million.

Photo by Atomic Taco/Flickr
What’s Next After I-940?

Police reform advocates pivot their focus to officer’s interactions with people in mental health crises.

Most Read