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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 08
Trump order on Trans students: What it means for Washington

Legal protections in place, but beware of I-1552
Section One
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Trump order on Trans students: What it means for Washington

Legal protections in place, but beware of I-1552

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Seattle and Washington state officials reaffirmed their commitment to Transgender rights in the wake of Donald Trump's executive order rescinding federal protections for Transgender students.

'The bullying coming from the White House reached even more alarming levels today when the Trump administration specifically began targeting school kids,' said Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in a February 22 statement.

'By rescinding federal guidance from the Department of Education to stand up for Title IX protections allowing transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, the new administration is sending a message that it no longer respects individual rights and ratcheting up the fear among marginalized communities...

'Unlike the Trump administration, Seattle is committed to expanding rights - not undoing them,' Murray added. 'As the new administration continues to assault civil liberties, we will stand up for all students in Seattle schools. We will also stand by court precedent.'

In 2015 the Seattle City Council passed legislation requiring all city-controlled and privately operated places of public accommodation to provide at least some single-stall all-gender restrooms.

Last year, the mayor also signed an executive order that instructed Seattle's Office for Civil Rights to develop guidelines and trainings for Seattle police officers and other frontline staff on how to provide safe and inclusive spaces for all residents, including Transgender and gender-diverse people.

The 2006 Anderson-Murray Act, which the mayor - then a state representative - helped shepherd through the legislature, specifically protects Transgender people from discrimination in public accommodations.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson pledged to enforce laws protecting Trans people.

'As AG I will ensure state laws protecting transgender and gender-nonconforming students are enforced fairly and vigorously,' he wrote on his Twitter feed.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee also weighed in to promise legal protection for Trans residents.

'I strongly oppose the Trump administration's reversal of federal protection for transgender students. Washington state will continue to be a place where all children can feel safe from discrimination, harassment, or assault based on their gender identity,' he said.

While existing city and state laws do offer protections to Trans residents, activists warned that those laws are under attack even in Washington state. Kriss Hermanns, CEO of the Pride Foundation, cited Initiative 1552, an effort to bar Trans people from gender-appropriate restrooms.

'Our civil rights should never be determined by our zip code,' she said.

'While transgender students in Washington are currently protected by our state's anti-discrimination law, opponents of equality are gathering signatures for Initiative 1552, which would target Transgender students and roll back protections for all Trans and gender-diverse people in the state.'

I-1552 is sponsored by the same right-wing coalition that offered up the unsuccessful I-1515 last year.

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Jenner to Trump: 'Call me.'
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Trump reverses Obama directives protecting Trans students
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Trump order on Trans students: What it means for Washington

Legal protections in place, but beware of I-1552

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