VICTORY: Anti-Transgender Ballot Initiative Defeated In WashingtonBy Cameron Tolle • July 7, 2016 • 8:57 pm
Victory tonight in Washington state, where we’re celebrating the defeat of I-1515 – a harmful proposed ballot initiative that would have repealed the state’s 10-year-old non-discrimination laws ensuring fair and equal treatment of transgender people.
Tomorrow was the signature deadline for proponents of the harmful initiative to submit petition signatures to the Secretary of State to qualify for the ballot this fall. And while opponents were scheduled to deliver petitions in Olympia tomorrow morning, they canceled their appointment today – indicating that they fell far short of collecting the 246k+ signatures required to make it on the ballot.
Freedom for All Americans was proud to be a founding member of Washington Won’t Discriminate, the statewide campaign committed to stopping I-1515 and defending the state’s non-discrimination laws. Our chief program officer Kasey Suffredini hailed today’s victory as a monumental step forward for transgender people in Washington and across the country:
“The people of Washington have made clear there’s no place for discrimination in their state. Despite months of anti-transgender attacks by legislatures across the country, today’s announcement reflects the prevailing notion among ordinary Americans that transgender people make important and valuable contributions to society, and that we are deserving of the same respect and dignity as everyone else. No one should face discrimination for being who they are. Fairness is both a Washington value and an American value.”
“The people of Washington state believe there’s no place for discrimination in their state. Today’s announcement reflect the prevailing sentiment that no one should be discriminated against because of who they are or who they love.”
Seth Kirby, campaign chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, said today is a clear affirmation that discrimination has no place in the Evergreen State:
“Washingtonians have sent a clear message – we won’t discriminate. As a transgender man, I’m encouraged that voters didn’t buy the pitch that repealing our state’s non-discrimination protections for transgender people would somehow make everyone safer. Washingtonians value fairness and equality and we believe that everyone in our state should be able to earn a living, frequent a business, earn an education, and raise a family free from the fear of discrimination.”
Over the last several months, opponents of transgender equality in Washington have peddled the same deceptive scare tactics used to attack and demonize transgender people across the country. But, these anti-transgender tactics suffered a definitive defeat today – thanks in large part to the coalition built by Washington Won’t Discriminate across the state. Transgender people and their families, faith leaders, 150+ businesses, education advocates and more stood together under the simple notion that transgender people deserve to be treated fairly and equally under the law.
Freedom for All Americans is a founding partner of Washington Won’t Discriminate, member of the campaign’s executive committee, and has contributed to the coalition in the form of general strategy, communications outreach, digital and field support, and business recruitment.