The right-wing backlash against basic human rights protections for transgender people is in full swing, but bill by bill, it's being defeated. This afternoon, SB 6443 narrowly went down in the GOP-controlled State Senate, thanks to relatively-moderate Republicans Senators Andy Hill, Steve Litzow, and Joe Fain, who defected to the side opposed to anti-trans bigotry. (Democratic Senator Jim Hargrove, voted for the bill. Asshole.)
The three-sentence bill would have repealed the Human Rights Commission's new rule explicitly protecting the right of transgender people to use bathrooms consistent with their gender identities—something transgender people are already doing anyway. The bill offers no explanation of why the rule needed to be repealed. But the arguments trotted out on the Senate floor were as familiar as they were specious—centering around the patently bogus notion that the rule would enable sex predators to nefarious things in bathrooms.
Sen Pedersen: "If this bill passes this chamber, it will send a terrible message to trans people and if they are welcome in this state."
— GSBA (@GSBA) February 10, 2016
24 yays, 25 NAYS!!! YAYA YAYAYYAYAY
— Danni Askini (@danniaskini) February 10, 2016
There are five more of these bills working through the legislature, including a so-called "genital check" proposal. None of them are thought to have any chance of passing in the Democrat-controlled House. But that doesn't mean they're not already doing damage.
In the Senate, SB 6443 was defeated by a lone vote. Bottom line for Seattle progressives? Per Heidi: "Electing Seattle Democrats is not enough. In order to turn off the bigoted garbage fountain of Republican legislation and to make it easier to pass common-sense laws, Democrats must retake the state senate."