Equal Rights Washington Files Complaint: I-1552 Anti-LGBTQ Backers Violating Election Laws

Equal Rights Washington Files Complaint: I-1552 Anti-LGBTQ Backers Violating Election Laws

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Meghan Maya/Washington Won't Discriminate
Meghan Maya/Washington Won’t Discriminate

Just Want Privacy, the political group behind so-called “safety” initiative 1552, is violating Washington state’s election laws by failing to report numerous contributions from anti-LGBTQ groups like the Family Policy Institute of Washington, Alliance Defending Freedom, State Rep. Graham Hunt, and others. (Complaint here. Appendix here.)

A complaint filed early Monday morning by Equal Rights Washington details a long list of unreported contributions in the form of assistance and resources including:

  • Using more than a dozen “Gender Revolution” events in Aberdeen, Pasco, Spokane, Sequim, Bremerton, Tacoma, Wenatchee, Bellingham, Vancouver, and Bothell sponsored by the Family Policy Institute of Washington (FPIW) to recruit volunteers and signatures on I-1552.  According to watchdog group Southern Poverty Law Center:

 The larger purpose of the seminars, however, became clear as the talk wound on and Backholm began describing the “cultural” part of how people could combat the “gender revolution”—namely, to encourage participants to engage in the political battle over gender by supporting and helping to promote the FPIW’s new anti-transgender “bathroom bill,” Initiative 1552. […] He urged seminar-goers to get involved on three levels—interpersonally, at their churches, and politically. He described the churches as being “at war, for sure,” and urged everyone at the seminar to help organize support for the drive to gather signatures for I-1552. (4/27/17: “Washington Anti-LGBT Seminars Begin Organizing For Another Bathroom Bill Initiative”)

  • Failing to report assistance and resources from the anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom, which is classified as an extremist group and has been identified as a major force behind many anti-LGBTQ proposals around the nation.

“We all care about safety, but I-1552’s unreported backers are focused on furthering an anti-LGBTQ and discrimination agenda that will undermine public safety by encouraging more harassment and violence,” said Monisha Harrell, Chair of the Board for Equal Rights Washington.

Seth Kirby, a transgender man and Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, said “I-1552 is harmful, unnecessary and unenforceable. Transgender people like me deserve the same basic protections as everyone else – to participate in public life and use public facilities with safety, privacy and dignity. Life is hard enough, let’s not make it worse for anyone. We should all be free to be our true selves.”

Washington Won’t Discriminate is a broad coalition of more than 500 law enforcement, clergy, business leaders, violence prevent groups and others opposing efforts to roll back our state’s non-discrimination protections.

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