WSCADV and WCSAP urge you to DECLINE to SIGN Initiative 1552. This harmful ballot initiative is an attempt to roll back civil rights protections and anti-discrimination laws that have helped to protect people in Washington for over a decade. Initiative 1552 targets LGBTQ students and threatens the safety of some of the most vulnerable children and youth in our community.
Domestic violence and sexual assault programs in Washington State are committed to serving transgender survivors safely and with dignity. We know that discrimination does not make anyone safer. We believe that every person has the right to freedom from fear and violence. We support public policies that protect civil rights and human dignity for all. Initiative 1552 would be a big step backward.
This dangerous initiative would:
- Increase risk of bullying and harassment for LGBTQ children and youth, and worsen racial inequality. LGBTQ students already face alarmingly high rates of discrimination, harassment, and violence. Transgender people experience some of the highest rates of hate violence, sexual violence, and intimate partner violence in the country.
- Require public schools to discriminate by strictly prohibiting transgender students from using gender-segregated facilities that match their gender identity.
- Restrict the rights of local jurisdictions to enact civil rights protections in their communities.
- Create an incentive for harassment and a financial risk for local school districts. The law would allow any student who simply encounters a transgender student in a gender segregated school facility to sue the school district for $5,000 plus “damages”.
- Increase racial disparities in health, income, and education. LGBTQ people of color, Native people, and immigrants face the compounded impacts of racism, homophobia, and anti-trans bias. Weakening civil rights protections will make those disparities worse.
Proponents of I-1552 have until July 7th to gather enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot.
Here are 3 things you can do right now to stop this dangerous and discriminatory law.
- Make your voice heard. Share these messages on social media. Forward this email to friends and family, and let them know why you oppose I-1552.
- Endorse Washington Won’t Discriminate. Add your name or your organization’s name to the broad coalition of people who have declined to sign. Endorsers include WSCADV, WCSAP, Children’s Alliance, Washington Education Association, as well as social service organizations, law enforcement agencies, health care providers, educators, and clergy from across Washington State.
- Take action in your community. You can sign up here to be part of a statewide Decline to Sign action team. Or, contact WSCADV if you want help to think about other ways anti-violence organizations can be visible allies to LGBTQ survivors.