Unjust Washington State Anti-Trans Bill Out Of Senate Committee

People pack a hallway outside a Washington Senate hearing room, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as they wait to listen to public testimony regarding a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.

Some bad legislative news out of Washington state in which Senate Bill 6443 escaped the Republican controlled Commerce and Labor Committee on a party line 4-3 vote at a hearing in Olympia in front of an overflow crowd estimated at 300 people…

The unjust bill was sponsored by Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) specifically to overturn a rule that allows trans people in Washington state to use gender segregated locker rooms and bathrooms in public buildings that correspond with their gender presentation.   Trans people have had their human rights covered in the state since 2006, and the December 26 ruling by the state’s Human Rights Commission was simply a clarification of that anti-discrimination law.

Sen. Michael Baumgartner, R-Spokane, center, chairs a hearing of the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., as Sen. John Braun, R-Chehalis, right, and Sen. Bob Hasegawa, D-Seattle, left, look on, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016. The committee was hearing testimony opposing and supporting a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity.

But now that it’s GOP policy to transphobically attack by legislative means the human rights of trans people, you could smell this legislative caca coming.

While this unjust bill may pass in the Republican controlled Senate, it is DOA when it arrives in the Democratically controlled House.   House Bill 2589, its companion bill and HB 2782, another transphobic bill that was filed to also attack the Human Rights Commission ruling, is bottled up in the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) and she has made it clear that neither unjust bill will get a hearing in her committee.

Even if by some miracle either did get out of committee and pass the House, Governor Jay Inslee (D) is waiting with his pen to veto it.

A group of people opposing a bill that would eliminate Washington’s new rule allowing transgender people use gender-segregated bathrooms and locker rooms in public buildings consistent with their gender identity listen to questions from lawmakers after they testified during a public hearing, Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016, in a Washington Senate hearing room at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. At right is Tyler Stewart, of Olympia, who identified himself as a transgender man.

Don’t panic yet Washington trans community. The haters won a battle.  They haven’t won the war, and as long as y’all stay vigilant and handle your legislative business in Olympia they won’t.

You may wish to get busy writing and calling your state senators and urging them to oppose Senate Bill 6443 and calling or e-mailing your House reps to urge them to do the same and kill House Bill 2782.

You may also wish to call or write Rep Jinkins, Sen Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle), Sen. Steve Conway (D-Tacoma) and Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent) and thank them for standing up for your human rights.

And FYI, trans Washington, when these human rights heroes and sheroes run for reelection, kick them some T-bills and do whatever it takes to ensure they stay in Olympia defending your rights.

You also need to give Danni Askini of the Gender Justice League some love for also standing up to fight for the human rights of trans Washingtonians.

Then once the session is over y’all need to punish the haters and support your friends at the ballot box.

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