Update: February 4, 2016
Our focus is on K-12 education so we’ll focus on the HRC’s ruling impact on schools.
The actual rule adopted by the Human Rights commission on Dec. 26, 2015 is WAC 162-32-060 http://app.leg.wa.gov/WAC/
The legislature has gotten a lot of citizen feedback and sponsored several bills regarding the new HRC rule.Two of those bills had public hearings in the Senate. The hearing on the bill below was attended by hundreds of citizens opposed to the new HRC rule.SB 6443 http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/
The report on SB 6548 above lists examples of affected entities including schools, businesses, and public buildings.
Updated February 1, 2016…….
The Chair of the House Judiciary Committee is REFUSING to allow discussion and a hearing on the Bill to overturn the HRC’s Rule allowing a person who “self-identifies” as the opposite sex (but has not had sex change surgery) to use the bathroom, locker room and/or showers of the opposite sex. The HRC is also refusing to consider a citizen petition to overturn the rule. Democrats control the House and in so doing are preventing ANY discussion. What are they afraid of? Are they afraid the public doesn’t agree with them so by trying to bury the people and NOT allow discussion they can kill the democratic process? If you disagree with this BLOCKING please read the full article here and contact the people noted below.
Updated January 31, 2016 …….
On December 26, 2016, the Washington State Human Rights Commission (HRC) took it on itself to implement a new “rule”. Known as WAC 162-32-060 this “rule” allows a male or female who believes or has decided that he/she is/are really the opposite sex to use the facilities of the opposite sex. So, a male could walk into the showers of females, strip, shower and walk around so long as he said that he “identifies” as a female at that moment. All perfectly legal. The Family Policy Institute published an article on January 29th that may be useful to read.
The HRC is an appointed body. They are not elected and are not directly responsible to the voters. They have the right to create “rules” that have the force of law unless the legislature overturns the “rule” by passing a new law. There appears to be a strong possibility that this commission is making a philosophical and political statement. They did hold a hearing but the notice was not on their site and would not have been found if you had not known it was being posted. So, those who would claim notice was given were correct but there was no real intent for the public nor legislators to know.
Who does this affect? Originally it was intended for businesses. However, it turns out that it affects schools as well (which is why we are discussing it here). We have asked every school district in SWW if this is true. To date several have answered while the majority have failed to answer. However, based on the responses to date we can point you to Policy 3211 – Transgender Students.
We have confirmed that students may use the opposite sex facilities based on how they “feel” at the time.We filed Public Information Requests with each of the school districts in SWW. How do you do that? You go to the school district web site and do a search on Public Information Requests. Some districts require you to use their form while others will allow you to simple write them a letter (or email). You specifically note what it is you want. They will then acknowledge within 1 week receipt of the request and then will cite the amount of time they need to process and respond. Legally they have up to 30 days to respond after the acknowledgement.
On January 14th, 2016, we emailed the school districts in SWW the following:
The Washington State Human Rights Commission, in a ruling effective December 26, 2015, (http://lawfilesext.leg.wa.gov/law/wsr/2015/11/15-11-104.htm) determined that males “self identifying as female” and females “self identifying as males” must be given access to the facilities (restroom, locker room and similar) of the sex that person is “identifying” with (even though they are not biologically that sex). The rule also affects schools. Unlike businesses, schools are allowed to assess bathroom situations on a case-by-case basis. However, “In most cases, transgender students should have access to the locker room that corresponds to their gender identity consistently asserted at school.”
A number of people are adamantly against this rule and believe that it should be withdrawn and/or that the State Legislature should introduce and pass legislation that reverses the HRC’s action. Our reasons are many and will be shared at every opportunity.
We would like you to answer the following questions:
1) Do you support the HRC’s finding and rule or should it be repealed?
2) What action(s) are you taking either to support or overturn the HRC’s action?
3) Would you be willing to write a letter to the editor to the Columbian and/or The Reflector stating your position?
4) Are you willing to attend a public function, rally, gathering or other event, to take a stance against the HRC’s action?
As of January 30th we’ve heard back from three (3) of the districts. All have cited the exact same policy: 3211 – Transgender. This policy allows any student who identifies as the opposite sex to use the facilities of the opposite sex. The districts responding say that the policy is consistent with the HRC Rule. Thus, school districts (one assumes throughout the state and certainly in SWW) will allow access. Here is a link to one of the responses (this one from Washougal which is the same policy are shared by other districts): Washougal SD Policy No. 3211
Is this what you are comfortable with?
There is an effort to get the State Legislature to pass a Bill that will overturn the HRC “rule”. As of this date here’s what we know:
- In the State Senate SB6443 us furthest along but has a long way to go.
- In the House HB2589 has been submitted. However, there are two people blocking action or hearings. Rep Laurie Jinkins and Rep Lilian Ortiz-Self.
Following is the contact information for each of the “blockers”. If you feel that the HRC rule should be overturned please take the time to write and email AND call their office and voice your views.
Here are the emails and phone numbers. If you want the Bill heard please share this information with others and contact the “blockers”. Contact your Washington State House and Senate representative as well and share your thoughts.
Lillian Ortiz-Self: sortiz
Laurie Jinkins: Jinkins.Laurie@leg.wa.gov Phone: (360) 786 – 7930