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Campaign to roll back trans rights fails for a second year running

Joseph McCormick July 8, 2017
Participants wave Rainbow Flags as they take part in the WorldPride 2017 parade in Madrid

Participants wave Rainbow Flags as they take part in the WorldPride 2017 parade in Madrid on July 1, 2017. Authorities and organisers expect today one to two million people to attend the world's biggest festive demonstration for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights, in the 3.1-million-strong Spanish capital, which has become a global reference in LGBT openness. (Getty Images/AFP Photo/Curto De La Torre)

A campaign to have transgender nondiscrimination protections rolled back in Washington State have failed for the second year running.

The campaign failed to gain enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot in the state.

The I-1552 campaign cancelled an appointment on Friday to turn in 259,622 signatures with the Washington Secretary of State’s office.

The campaign had been opposed by law enforcement, LGBT groups and sexual assault prevention groups who said it would have been unenforceable as well as harmful and unnecessary.

cartoon of trans person choosing a bathroom

“We all care about safety and privacy, but people understand that repealing protections from discrimination for transgender people won’t make anyone safer,” said Seth Kirby, a transgender man and Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, the No on I-1552 campaign.

“It’s already a felony to assault or harass someone in public facilities, and no one should have to prove their gender to self-appointed bathroom cops.”

“Washington would have been the first state to put a repeal of transgender rights up for a public vote, and we’re proud of our state for saying no a second time. As more people get to know transgender folks like myself, it’s clear the tide is starting to turn against discriminatory efforts like I-1552,” adds Kirby.

The campaign had found strong opposition in business leaders, labour unions, faith organisations and others.

The campaign had collected 50,000 pledges and raised over $300,000 from thousands of people.

It has been strongly opposed by politicians too, with WA State Republican Chair Chris Vance urging voters not to sign the measure.

“We need laws that protect the rights, safety, privacy, and dignity of all citizens, including transgender people,” he said.

More than 200 cities and counties and 18 states currently have laws protecting transgender rights.

The Washington Won’t Discriminate campaign will continue to campaign to protect the rights of transgender people against attacks in future.

More: Trans, Transgender, US, Washington, Washington state

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