About this Initiative
PFLAG actively opposes the current petition drive to put Initiative 1552 on the ballot for the upcoming November election. You can read the full initiative here. I-1552 would repeal Washington’s 11-year-old non-discrimination protections for our transgender friends, family members, neighbors, and co-workers.
- I-1552 would allow places of public accommodation – including businesses — to discriminate by prohibiting transgender people from using gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with who they are.
- I-1552 requires our public schools to discriminate against transgender students by denying them access to gender-segregated facilities that are consistent with their gender identity.
- I-1552 would ban local control, preventing citizens, cities and counties from passing or enforcing non-discrimination ordinances or policies protecting transgender people from discrimination in gender-segregated facilities.
- I-1552 would allow others to ignore legally-changed birth certificates and government-issued documents, potentially requiring transgender people to submit to invasions of privacy and family history in order to use the appropriate restrooms.
- I-1552 opens the floodgates to unnecessary lawsuits by giving K-12 students the ability to sue their public schools for a minimum of $5,000 every time they encounter a transgender student in gender-segregated facility.
In addition to allowing public places and schools to discriminate, I-1552 could result in enormous financial cost to our state—driving away conventions, tourism, and new business, which would severely impact Washington’s economy, and opening public schools to expensive and time-consuming lawsuits. Consider the losses North Carolina is facing from their recent HB2 “bathroom” Bill, which the Associated Press has calculated as least $3.76 billion over 12 years.
Leading the Opposition
Three groups are leading the effort to defeat this initiative.
Washington Won’t Discriminate is broad-based coalition of law enforcement officers, clergy, sexual assault prevention groups, businesses and many others working to defeat I-1552 and protect freedom, equality, and respect for everyone in Washington. It is gathering signatures of I-1552 opponents on its Decline to Sign” page.
Transform Washington is public education campaign supported by the Pride Foundation. It celebrates the dignity, diversity and humanity of transgender and gender-diverse people through their own first-person stories, putting human faces on this issue.
Washington Safety & Access for Everyone (WA SAFE Alliance) is a coalition of organizations and individuals across Washington state who have joined together to defend longstanding anti-discrimination laws, especially for the transgender community.
In addition, Washington Won’t Discriminate has compiled a business coalition of over 1000 companies and corporations and an extensive list of endorsers, including elected officials, political and advocacy organizations, public interest groups, community groups, faith leaders, law enforcement, attorneys, business owners, and more.
What we can do
We can add our own voices against I-1152 and encourage as many others as we can to join us in opposition:
- Add your name to Decline to Sign.
- Be aware that the initiative proponents have set up regional petition areas and if approached, decline to sign.
- Spread the word to your friends, family, and community to Decline to Sign.
- Distribute this “Decline to Sign” flyer to your network via social media, email, and/or post a print-out in an approved area.
- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining your opposition to this initiative. Consult How to Write a Letter to the Editor for guidelines and examples.