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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, June 16, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 24
Bigots claim $50K donation for anti-Trans initiative
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Bigots claim $50K donation for anti-Trans initiative

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The organizers of a campaign to reverse 11 years of civil rights legislation and deprive Transgender people of their right to use gender-appropriate restrooms say they have received a new donation of $50,000.

The ironically titled Just Want Privacy campaign has not revealed who gave them the money, and the donation has not yet showed up on the group's Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) webpage.

The Just Want Privacy group tried but failed to get a similar initiative on the ballot last year. This year they have until July 7 to turn in petitions with 259,622 signatures in order to get I-1552 on the November ballot.

The measure would repeal parts of the Washington state law against discrimination to force people to use restrooms that correspond only with the gender they were assigned at birth.

The anti-Trans Just Want Privacy group is currently paying signature gatherers in an effort to qualify for the ballot, and they said the new influx of cash would help them in a last-minute push.

'This is a big deal, folks,' wrote campaign chair Joseph Backholm in a Facebook post announcing the donation. 'While we had originally planned to pay for 100K signatures, we are hopeful now that we will be able to pay for 150K signatures.'

Apart from the $50,000 donation, Backholm's group has collected only $156,000, with the largest known donation being $25,000 from Cedar Park Assembly of God Church.

On the other side, Washington Won't Discriminate reported donations totaling $283,000, including $50,000 from the ACLU of Washington and $25,000 from Microsoft.

In addition, Amazon, Google, and a number of other corporations have gone on record against I-1552. The Washington State Labor Council will take up requests to add organized labor's voice to the opposition at its convention in July.

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