Handy Sheet for Responding to I1515 Transphobia

 Quick fact sheet for opposing I1515  (PDF)

Our state anti-discrimination law, known as the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), clearly prohibits discrimination because of “gender expression or identity.”. The Human Rights Commission (HRC) is charged with enforcing that law.  In December 2015, the HRC published a ruling clarifying the law with regard to ‘facilities segregated by gender – public restrooms and locker rooms.

Transgender people have been protected under this law since 2006, 10 years ago.

I1515 – Lies, Big Fat Lies, Ugly Hateful Lies and the Lying Liars to tell them… 

I1515 was filed by the same people who tried to get multiple bills through the Washington State House and Senate earlier this year.  They use fear-mongering and outright lies to scare people into supporting this initiative.  The deadline is July 9th for them to get 246,000 signatures and get this heinous pile of transphobia on the ballot.

I hope you will join me in speaking up when you hear someone repeating the lies told by I1515 supporters and be on the watch for petitions in work places, businesses and public gatherings.

I1515 seeks to repeal protections for trans people under WLAD, specifically with regard to ‘gender segregated facilities’, i.e., bathrooms and locker rooms.

I1515 supporters say the initiative is about safety and preventing men from coming into bathrooms and locker rooms to commit crimes.

FACT: the activities supporters say they will prevent are already against the law.

I1515 supporters: But isn’t it illegal to ask someone if they are transgender or in the wrong bathroom?
I1515 supporters like Breitbart and the Family Institute of Washington are saying just that and it’s not true.
FACT: individuals and business can still question an individual who appears to be using the wrong gender segregated facility. If a person is in a gender segregated facility for nefarious purposes, and is challenged, they will not likely pursue a civil rights complaint. If they did, that complaint would be investigated by the HRC and dismiss as invalid.

I1515 stance: This ruling allows men to go into the women’s room and ogle women and children and no one can do anything about it!
FACT: the HRC ruling and WLAD clarify that women of all kinds are allowed to use women’s facilities and men of all kinds are allowed to use men’s facilities – where those facilities are gender segregated. It is still illegal for a man to use the women’s room.

ANOTHER FACT: transgender women are not men and transgender men are not women.  If a man comes into the women’s room, he’s breaking the law.

What about that guy who went into the bathroom claiming he was allowed to under the law?
FACT: if you’re talking about the guy who entered a Seattle area women’s locker room in order to make a point about the HRC’s ruling, no, that was an illegal act. As reported in an article linked below, the man never identified himself as a transgender woman.”

ANOTHER FACT: you’ve been sharing bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender people for years without knowing it.

But what about the children? (and women), (The Safety argument)
FACT: there are no cases of assault, sexual or otherwise, perpetrated by trans people in gender segregated facilities.  AND ALSO, transgender people are by far more likely to be assaulted, sexually or otherwise, or murdered than any other demographic.  Especially transgender women.  Even more especially, transgender women of color. So clearly, I1515 supporters are not interested in everyone’s safety.

FURTHER FACT: the demographic who is statistically more likely to commit sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, etc. are white heterosexual, non-transgender men. So if you’d like to keep people safe from such violence, focus on that group of people.

But what about the privacy angle?
FACT: Discomfort is not the same as danger. If someone with an atypical body is in the restroom or locker room with you, you and your children might be uncomfortable. However, neither you nor your children is in danger. And maybe you should look at that as an opportunity to teach your kids tolerance and respect, rather than fear.  (And you know what?  I’m betting most of the trans people using your locker room want privacy too, many of them are using a bathroom stall to change in so you don’t freak out and make their lives miserable.  It’s just body parts people, grow up!)

But, but, but… transgenders are wierd and confused and icky!

Suggested response: You’re a jerk, I got nothing more to say to you.

Other resources:

Washingon Won’t Discriminate – great fact sheets and information

ACLU Summary of Transgender rights in Washington State

Article with statement from HRC on the guy who went into the locker room…

 Link to a pdf of this document

( Feel free to share this, copy, paste, print it off… )

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