The I-1515 campaign – an effort to repeal Washington State’s 10 year old non-discrimination law protecting our transgender friends, co-workers and family members – failed to turn in enough (246,372) signatures to qualify for this year’s fall election ballot. The WA Secretary of State’s office announced late this afternoon that the I-1515 campaign cancelled its appointment to turn in signatures.
“Washingtonians have sent a clear message – we won’t discriminate,” said Seth Kirby, Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, the No on I-1515 campaign. “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.”
Washington Won’t Discriminate is a broad coalition of more than 500 law enforcement, clergy, business leaders, violence prevent groups and others opposing I-1515. Since launching a little over three months ago:
- More than 51,000 people became Washington Won’t Discriminate supporters, volunteers, and activists.
- More than 600 individuals donated to the No on I-1515 campaign at an average of $97/each.
- More than 150 big and small businesses and labor unions from around the state quickly rallied to oppose I-1515, including Amazon, WA State Labor Council, Microsoft, Group Health, Google, Facebook, Expedia, Vulcan, AT&T, Dow Chemical, WA State Labor Council, Washington Education Association, and many more.
- Faith leaders, including Evangelical Lutheran Bishop Kirby Unti, and law enforcement officials, such as King County Sheriff John Urquhart, raised moral and safety objections to I-1515.
- Editorial boards, including the Seattle Times, Everett Herald, the Olympian and Tacoma News Tribune, urged opposition to I-1515.
Like Washington, more than 200 cities and counties and 18 states have nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people’s access to facilities consistent with the gender they live every day—without negative impacts on public safety.
“I’ve devoted my career to preventing sexual violence in our community and there is nothing more important to me than ensuring our community is safe. I’m proud that voters declined to sign on I-1515, an initiative which would have done nothing to make us safer and instead would have caused serious unintended consequences for the privacy and safety of all of us by encouraging more discrimination and harassment,” said Andrea Piper-Wentland, Director of Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs.
While I-1515 did not qualify for the ballot this year, Washington Won’t Discriminate will continue to mobilize public support for protecting our state’s non-discrimination laws from future attacks.
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