According to officials in Olympia, a bill that would have overturned the controversial move by the State Human Rights Commission failed by a single vote Wednesday.

In a quiet, unnoticed move the day after Christmas, the Washington State Human Rights Commission showed it believes it has more power than it's legally allowed to have by adopting a series of transgender bathroom and locker room laws, pertaining to state buildings AS WELL AS BUSINESS WITH MORE THAN 8 employees.

The laws basically allowed transgender individuals to utilize whichever facility they identified with, and required that state public buildings, wherever possible, provide signage and information indicating they are such.  This included locker rooms.

Nobody really heard about it until the legislative session began and several bills in the House and Senate were introduced to overturn the law.  The arguments given were that the Human Rights Commission over stepped it's boundaries and essentially created new "laws", which it is not allowed to do.

This was supported by the fact that the Commission adopted them the day after Christmas, when they knew very little attention was being paid to state procedural matters.

Wednesday in Olympia, a bill to overturn these Commission laws didn't pass, according to David Boze, Media coordinator for the GOP-Led Senate Majority Caucus:

"Senate Bill 6443 would have repealed the Human Rights Commission rule that allows people to use restrooms and locker rooms based on the gender they self-identify with.   The bill failed in the senate today on a vote of 24-25."

A similar bill introduced in the House by 37 GOP legislators, and supported by Rep. Larry Haler and Brad Klippert of the Tri-Cities, didn't make it out of a Democratically-controlled sub-committee.

Senator Mike Hewitt, (R-Walla Walla) was highly critical of the failure of the bill, and had this to say:

"Supporters of the bill, republican and democrat, made it clear that the intent of the legislation was not to discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Instead, supporters explained that their primary concern is that sexual predators will pose as transgender in order to gain access to public shower situations.
Opponents of the legislation have argued that those opposed to the HRC rule are fear mongers, scaring parents into discrimination.
“Many people have a legitimate concern that sex predators are going to abuse the HRC rule in order to get into bathrooms and locker rooms where they can see, film, or hurt young girls. We’ve seen this happening already."
“We could have come up with a better solution than the HRC rule and still protected the rights of transgender people. The details of that rule make it illegal even to ask if someone is transgender. How are we supposed to prevent abuse of that? A mom can’t ask a naked man in the locker room if he’s transgender or she’s breaking the law. She can’t even refer to the man as ‘him’ without breaking the law. This vote just stomped on your right to privacy,” said Hewitt.


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