Retired Washington State Legislators Petition Repeal of Controversial Bathroom Rule

With the Washington state Senate voting down a reversal of the transgender bathroom rule by just one vote, several former legislators are taking another path to put pressure on the state of Washington to change the rule that allows men who simply “identify” as women to use women’s locker rooms.

Senator Val Stevens (Retired, R – Arlington), Senator Joyce Mulliken (Retired, R – Mukilteo), Representative Gigi Talcott (Retired, R – Lakewood) and Representative Lynn Schindler (Retired, R – Spokane) all signed a petition requesting the Washington state Human Rights Commission to repeal the transgender bathroom rule implemented in December which allows men to use women’s restrooms and locker rooms and women to use men’s restrooms and locker rooms when the facilities are open to the public.  Both public and private facilities must follow the new rules.

In their petition the legislators speak out against how the rule was adopted:

“The rule should be repealed because the Human Rights Commission failed to comply with the Administrative Procedures Act,” the petition reads, “Given the broad scope of the rule and its controversial subject matter, the Human Rights Commission should have expected a great deal of public interest in its workgroups held in 2012. Instead, the hearing notice was defective and resulted in sparsely attended hearings. Four hearings were held in 2012 in relatively remote locations with inadequate public notice. The ‘public hearing’ occurred in Tacoma at the Oasis Youth Center, rather than in Olympia as identified on its CR-101 filed on October 13, 2014. Likewise, the notice relied upon by the commission identifies the June 24, 2015 meeting as a ‘commission meeting’ instead of a ‘public hearing.’ ”

The petition further explains how the rule is unfair due to its invasion of privacy, 1st amendment concerns and a number of issues, and concludes:

“The Human Rights Commission has adopted a rule that is unreasonable, unconstitutional and unworkable,” the retired legislators wrote in their petition,”It did so, either intentionally or negligently, and acted in violation of the most basic and fundamental principles of good governance.”

Read the legislator’s petition here and cover letter to the commission here.

More on the transgender bathroom rule:

KOMO News has more:

The commission, created by Washington’s Legislature, is responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination, said Ortiz, who was appointed executive director in 2009. The commission began considering the new policy in2012, Ortiz said.

Under the state’s anti-discrimination law, sexual orientation is a protected class, like race, which includes “gender expression or identity,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz and Margaret Chen, a staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, said the policy clarifies law that existed under that anti-discrimination law.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, disagreed with the commission’s new policy.

“Parents have a right to expect that when their children go to school, the boys will use the boys’ locker room and the girls will use the girls’ locker room,” he said in a written statement.


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