Washington

LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in the States

Washington
Full Statewide LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections
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LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Washington:

Since 2006, Washington has protected people from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. 

The Path to LGBTQ Non-Discrimination in Washington:

  • March 19, 1949Governor Arthur B. Langlie signs into law the Washington State Law Against Employment Discrimination, which protects residents from discrimination based on race, creed, color or national origin. At the time, the law does not include sexual orientation or gender identity and is limited to employment. The Washington Human Rights Commission is also established as the state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination.
  • September 18, 1973: The City of Seattle becomes the first city in the state to offer employment protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, for both private and public employees. In 1975 the city adds housing protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Several additional cities, boroughs and townships throughout Washington pass similar local ordinances over the following years, building momentum toward statewide legislation.
  • December 24, 1985: Governor Booth Gardner issues an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in state employment.
  • 1985-2006: Local and national organizations engage in conversations about who LGBT Washingtonians are, and support for fully comprehensive non-discrimination grows.
  • January 31, 2006: Governor Christine Gregoire signs House Bill 2661, which amends the Washington Law Against Discrimination to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression is prohibited.
  • April 28, 2016Washington Won’t Discriminate launches a broad nonpartisan campaign dedicated to educating voters about the importance of opposing I-1515, a harmful proposed ballot initiative that would specifically repeal Washington State’s non-discrimination protections ensure transgender people are treated fairly and equally under the law.
  • July 8, 2016Washington Won’t Discriminate celebrates the defeat of I-1515 when opponents of transgender equality fail to turn in enough signatures to qualify for the 2016 ballot campaign.

Last Updated February 15, 2018

Active Litigation

Karnoski v. Trump

Case Challenging Trump's Directive Banning Military Service for Transgender Americans

Key Date: July 18, 2018 • Motion for Stay of Preliminary Injunction Denied
Status: Headed to Trial in 2018
Legal Team: Lambda Legal
Type: Other LGBT Litigation

On August 28 Karnoski v. Trump was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington challenging Trump's attempt to reinstate a ban on open service for transgender people.

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