Initiative to Require Discrimination Against Trans Public School Students Returns for More Signatures

The initaitive, which failed last year, would also allow discrimination at private businesses.

The Just Want Privacy logo. Image via JustWantPrivacy.org.

Last year, a campaign calling itself “Just Want Privacy” tried to gather enough voter signatures to put I-1515 on the state ballot. They failed.

Now, they’re back. Around 11 a.m. Monday morning, a petition was filed with the Washington Secretary of State’s office. It calls itself “The Promoting and Protecting Privacy and Safety in Women, Men, and Student Restroom Facilities Act.” Despite superficial edits, the PPPSWMSRFA is substantially identical to I-1515. It would require discrimination against transgender students at public schools and allow discrimination at privately-owned businesses.

Like its predecessor, the PPPSWMSRFA would require public schools to force transgender students—whom initiative euphemistically calls “Certain Students”—to use the wrong bathrooms and locker rooms. There is one exception: students who both get their parents’ blessing and “consistently assert to school officials that their gender identity is different from their birth sex or gender” will be put into “alternative facilities” such as a “single-use restroom,” but only if those seperate facilities are available. Schools that don’t enforce this policy will become liable in civil court for between $2,500 and $5,000, plus attorney’s fees and “monetary damages for all psychological, emotional, and physical harm or injuries suffered by the aggreived student.”

Also like its predecessor, the PPPSWMSRFA would carve a hole into Washington’s decade-old anti-discrimination law (sponsored by then-state senator Ed Murray) to allow other entities to discriminate against trans people. The PPPSWMSRFA reads in part, “Nothing in this chapter prohibits a public or private entity from designating private facilities…for the exclusive use by females or males only…For the purposes of this act, if and whenever used, the terms ‘female,’ ‘male,’ ‘woman,’ women,’ ‘man,’ ‘he,’ ‘she,’ ‘sex,’ and ‘gender,’ shall mean and be based upon the person’s sex or gender as determined or tht existed biologically or genetically at the time of a person’s birth.”

Proponents of the PPPSWMSRFA frame their initiative as a measure to protect women from male sexual predators, and have long denied that the act has anything to do with transgender people.

More in News & Comment

Teen Immigrants in Washington Programs Claim Sexual Assault and Rape

Police reports from federally-funded facilities in Renton and Fife call the minors’ safety into question.

It’s Official: Safeco Field Will Get $135 Million in Taxpayer Funds

Critical King County Councilmembers call plan “a fleecing” and “irresponsible.”

The Westin Seattle workers represented by Unite Here Local 8 gather at Gethsemane Lutheran Church after voting to strike on Sep. 14. Photo by Abby Lawlor
Hotel Workers Vote to Authorize Strike

The Westin Seattle employees will picket to demand higher wages from Marriott International.

King County Moves to Expand Pre-Booking Diversion Program

Three cities could get money to link low-level drug offenders to services and keep them out of jail.

Immigrant Youth Vulnerable to Abuse in Centers

Federally-funded facilities struggle to maintain health and safety of minors stuck in limbo

Tourism Organizations Lose in Safeco Field Funding Plan

Money previously intended for Seattle and South King County organizations might go to stadium maintenance.

Photo by Cacophony/Wikipedia Commons
Safeco Field Will Get a New Name Next Year

Seattle Mariners could make over $100 million from naming rights.

Most Read