State Senate (barely) votes down anti-transgender bathroom bill

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill businesses have increasingly solved for any legislative complications by creating gender neutral bathrooms like the facilities pictured here at the new Optimism Brewing (Image: CHS)

There are more where this came from. Washington senators Wednesday narrowly voted down legislation to change a new policy guaranteeing the right of the state’s transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender with which they identify.

Capitol Hill’s 43rd District Sen. Jamie Pedersen said the legislation would “send a terrible” message to transgender people before joining in the vote against the bill. The final tally showed the legislation failed to leave the senate by one vote — 24 to 25.

While Washington’s Democrat-controlled House likely means senate GOP-powered legislation on LGBTQ issues is likely doomed, for transgender people living in Washington and those who support them, there are more indignities to come in Olympia. “There are five more of these bills working through the legislature, including a so-called ‘genital check’ proposal,” the Stranger reports.

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5 thoughts on “State Senate (barely) votes down anti-transgender bathroom bill

  1. Thank you for the article, it’s great to hear about these issues on this blog. I just want to give a bit of feedback about something that made it kind of confusing to read: The first two paragraphs talk about a specific (pro LGBTQ) house bill that was stopped in the senate, while the third paragraph abruptly switches and talks about how (presumably anti LGBTQ) senate bills are likely to be shot down in the house. Took me a while to figure that one out.

  2. Andres – it’s a bit complicated, but the bill was anti-LGBTQ from the start. Existing law – for the last decade – was very good and protected LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, credit, lending, insurance and public accommodations. The two Senate bills in question attempt to roll back those protections, particularly the public accommodations protections. There are four additional bills proposed in the House, which are going nowhere because of supportive legislators. But all six (2 Senate, 4 House) bills are anti-LGBTQ and specifically anti-transgender. There is more info at http://www.wasafealliance.org if you are interested. A lot of Capitol Hill organizations and residents have been deeply involved in this organizing effort with colleagues from around the state.

  3. So glad this was voted down, but also pretty discouraged to see how close it was, and to read some of the arguments used to try to push it through. The man who pretends to be transgender to go into women’s bathrooms and assault them is a myth–he doesn’t exist.

  4. It’s beyond disturbing how scared people still are about who uses which bathroom. I’ve never once wondered about the genitals or gender presentation of the person in the stall next to mine, or of the person who walks out of the rest room without washing their hands (ick!), or…well, you get the picture. There’s also no evidence that people cross-dress just to get into a bathroom. It sounds morbid, but there are, in truth, way, way easier ways to hurt people than to cross-dress and hide out in a rest room. Anyone who thinks this clearly doesn’t know what kind of crap masculine-looking people in feminine-looking clothes get on a daily basis.