Bathroom Privacy Advocates Plan Massive Signature Push for I-1552
Supports of Initiative 1552 are planning more events coming in the next few weeks, mirroring other efforts that have boosted signatures to get it on the ballot. I-1552 is being pushed as a counter to the controversial 'gender-neutral' bath and locker room laws passed less than a year and a half ago. Some of these signing events will likely get a lot of attention.
The Just Want Privacy campaign is seeking to put I-1552 on the November ballot. It would require schools to maintain separate bathroom and locker room facilities. It would also allow businesses to manage such facilities and other private areas in the way that best suit their needs.
The Washington State Human Rights commission quietly adopted a series of gender neutral bathroom laws the week after Christmas in 2015, with no public input, hearings or other publicity.
A firestorm of controversy has erupted over this, as the new laws allow anyone to use whatever restroom, bathroom, or locker room they 'identify' with--regardless of the gender.
Numerous privacy groups, and several women's assault support groups have stood against the new laws. I-1552 would not repeal the law, but allow schools to provide, if needed, a third option for students who want to utilize these laws, while still maintaining boys and girls separate facilities.
It would also give businesses the option of offering a 'third' bathroom, or other designated area, while (like schools) still offering 'men's' and 'women's' facilities. Currently under the new rules passed by the HRC, businesses are not allowed to offer a third restroom or locker room option, even if it works best for them. The HRC says preserving men's and women's facilities and offering a third option is discrimination against those who identify with a different gender--such as a man who identifies as a woman. Businesses are forced to allow anyone to use any restroom or locker room they identify with.
The 1552 group plans in the very near future, some 'flash signature' events, even holding them at busy intersections, near freeway off-ramps and other places likely to attract a lot of attention. Similar events in the past, say supporters, have greatly helped boost signatures. These are different than the traditional booth you often see set up in front of a store. They must obtain at least 330,000 signatures by July 1 to get it on the November ballot.