A group opposed to Washington's
transgender bathroom and locker room rule announced on Friday that it
did not have enough signatures to make the November ballot.
The group, Just Want Privacy, failed to
meet Friday's deadline of collecting 259,622 valid signatures to get
its proposed Initiative 1552 on the ballot. This is the second year
the group has failed to qualify its initiative.
Implementation in 2015 of the state
regulation that allows transgender people to use the bathroom and
locker room of their choice was praised as a civil rights landmark by
transgender rights groups. Opponents vowed to repeal it, claiming
that it allows sexual predators to enter women's restrooms.
Just Want Privacy said Friday that it
had collected 240,000 signatures.
“We exceeded last year's total by
over 20,000 signatures, and we know that so many more people
throughout the state would be willing to sign if given the chance.
But the truth is that we simply couldn't reach them in time,” the
group said in a statement.
Washington Won't Discriminate, which
ran a campaign urging Washington residents to “Decline to Sign”
the anti-transgender petition, claimed victory.
“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, chair of Washington Won't Discriminate, in a
statement. “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.”
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, called Just Want Privacy's
failure “a victory for equality and validation for Washington's
non-discrimination laws that ensure fair and equal treatment for
LGBTQ people in housing, employment and public accommodations.”