Washington Senate rejects reversal of transgender bathroom rule

Baumgartner voted to repeal the state’s rule, and is chair of the Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee where hearings on Ericksen’s bill filled committee rooms and hallways with people.

“I certainly was disappointed in the rule because it definitely does put people at risk,” Baumgartner said, adding that it shouldn’t be up to a commission to decide one way or another on the issue.

In the House, efforts to repeal the rule have not succeeded. House Bill 2782 that would ban people from entering gender-segregated bathrooms that don’t align with their male or female “anatomy,” or “DNA,” as defined by the bill, won’t receive a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee led by chairwoman Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma.

Baumgartner said without a change in state leadership, there isn’t a next step in repealing the commission’s rule.

Sharon Ortiz, the director of the Human Rights Commission, has said the new rule was a clarification of the state’s existing anti-discrimination law that added transgender people as a protected class in 2006. The commission was created by the Legislature and is responsible for administering and enforcing that law.

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