Seattle Police Arrest Man in Wig for Voyeurism and Indecent Exposure

The Seattle Police Department last month arrested a 33-year old suspect for indecent exposure and voyeurism in the Miller Park neighborhood, after victims told police a man had exposed himself and chased after them with a hand down his pants.  One woman said he was wearing a wig and denim-cutoff shorts.
The suspect told police, after his arrest, that he identifies as a woman.
The Seattle Police Department announced after the arrest that they had “booked her [emphasis added] into the King County Jail,” further fueling speculation that the suspect had been admitted into a women’s section of the King County Jail — immediately after being accused of six separate sex-crimes against women.
These incidents have added yet another level to the list of concerns brought forth by opponents of the state’s new open-locker room policy.  The policy, which went into effect in November, mandates that schools, businesses, and other “public accommodations” grant complete access to public showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms based on the way an individual claims to identify rather than their biological sex and anatomical state.

This case has also reinforced the concern that sex predators may claim to suffer from gender dysphoria to either gain access to private places or in an effort to receive reduced sentences for their crimes.  Women’s prison sentences are, on average, 63 percent shorter than men’s, based upon convictions for the same crimes.

“The concern, of course, is not that all transgendered people are sex predators, but that the bathroom rule doesn’t allow us to keep people like this suspect from being able to prey on women in private places,” said Zach Freeman, Director of Communications for the Family Policy Institute of Washington.  “Yes, he got arrested, but the damage to these women has already been done. We really need to focus on stopping this assault on women going forward.”

This new case comes just a week after it was revealed that one of the more vocal proponents of the open-locker rooms rule living in Seattle is previously a registered sex-offender in Nebraska — a felon, convicted of sex crimes against a woman, before moving to Washington, changing his name, and presenting as a woman.

The Just Want Privacy campaign has been launched to repeal the dangerous open-locker rooms rule.  Check out their website for more information on how you can join the effort to keep women and children safe.  

Convicted sex offender seeks access to women’s locker rooms through bathroom law

 

The battle over the Washington bathroom rule repeal just got a whole lot more interesting.

Transgender activists have sounded off in recent weeks claiming that they are being unfairly characterized by those concerned about locker room privacy and safety following the launch of the Just Want Privacy campaign.  Proponents of repealing the open bathroom rule have repeatedly said that their concern is not that the transgender community is going to harm women and children, but that it creates opportunity for those who would seek access to places they don’t belong.

Much of this debate has taken place in social media.

Seattle-based transgender rights activist Johanna Wolf has been among the most vitriolic in her responses to privacy activists, claiming that it’s only their “hatred” and “bigotry” that is trying to keep her and others out of the locker rooms and showers.

Recently we have discovered that Johanna used to be a man, Jonathan Adrian Wolf, who is a sex-offender convicted of raping a 20-year old deaf girl in Nebraska in 2006.

Why is this relevant?

Because a sex-offender is now seeking access to a woman’s locker room through this open bathroom policy.

Wolf, now identifying as a woman (view the name change document here), appears to be shocked and offended that people in Washington want to take away “her” rights to use the locker room and shower of “her” choice (caution: strong language):

johanna

Obviously, it remains true that not everyone who experiences gender dysphoria is a sex-offender or wanting to do harm.

But the fact is, this new rule would create liability for businesses who would seek to intervene in cases like this.

Despite maintaining residency in the Seattle-area, Wolf does not currently appear as a registered sex offender in the online sex-offender registry operated by the Washington State Department of Corrections or the database operated by King County.

There are already many cases of men impersonating transgender women to gain access to private places.  Now we know there are convicted sex offenders seeking access to women’s bathrooms under the same rationale.

Just in case you needed another reason to be concerned about this new bathroom rule, now you have one.

Let us know what you think about this in the comments section, below.

Step-by-Step Timeline: How We Got the Bathroom Rule

 

How did this happen, exactly?

That’s the question thousands of Washingtonians are asking themselves after the Human Rights Commission unilaterally introduced a new statewide mandate that forces businesses and schools to modify their policies to allow men into the women’s facilities.  The measure, which was aiming at blocking discrimination towards transgendered people, requires “public accommodations” to open up their showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms based on the way someone claims to identify internally, rather than what their anatomy and DNA would show.

So exactly how and when did this process start?

April 16, 2012: The Human Rights Commission (HRC) files WSR 12-09-050, a “Preproposal Statement of Inquiry” with the Washington Code Reviser’s office.  This document outlines the commission’s goals to begin the rule making process. Claiming that the 2006 Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) was too ambiguous on the issue of gender identity, they felt it within the bounds of their authority to create a rule to clarify it.  This legally-binding rule would not be subject to legislative approval.

May 24, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds a “public work group” in Pasco, Washington, aimed at gathering public input on this topic.  The notice that was published with the Washington Code Reviser’s office for this public meeting, however, was May 23rd.  Later, Commission Chair Steve Hunt expressed his disappointment in regards to the lack of attendance for this meeting in Pasco.

June 6, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds similar workgroup meetings in Olympia and Spokane.  Then-Commissioner Shawn Murinko stated during the HRC’s June Commission meeting that the work groups were “not well attended by policy makers and stakeholders.”

June 20, 2012: The Human Rights Commission holds its final input-gathering workgroup in Seattle, which Commission Chair Steve Hunt also categorized as lightly attended, while absolving the Commission of any fault for the lack of attendance during their June commission meeting.

June 24, 2015: The Human Rights Commission holds a final forum (also not well-attended) for public comment at the Oasis Youth Center in Tacoma, Washington. The Oasis Youth Center is a care facility that provides services specifically for local LGBT youth; their motto is “where queer youth thrive.”

At this point, it is important to note that the Human Rights Commission has openly admitted in their meeting minutes that they have not received sufficient public input by acknowledging that policy makers and stakeholders were not present at the work groups.  Despite this, they moved forward in implementing WAC 162-32.

November 25, 2015: After receiving almost no public input, the Human Rights Commission approves the open-bathroom rule and files it with the Code Reviser’s office. The Commission’s approval makes the rule tantamount to state law, and is set to go into effect December 26th, 2015.

December 26, 2015: The Human Rights Commission’s WAC 162-32 rule officially goes into effect. The press is slow to cover the Commission’s new rule, and many Washingtonians remain unaware that men are now allowed into women’s public restroom and locker room facilities statewide.

December 29th, 2015: FPIW first reports on the new HRC Rule.

January 11, 2016: A petition is launched urging the legislature to repeal the bathroom rule.

January 15, 2016: In response to growing concerns about the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule, members of the Washington State House of Representative introduce HB 2589, which would repeal the new rule. The bill gains the sponsorship of over 35 legislators in the House, but House Judiciary Committee Chair Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma), refuses to allow her committee to hear the bill, effectively killing its ability to become law.

January 20, 2016: The Washington State Senate follows the lead of legislators in the House and introduces its own bill, SB 6443, to repeal the Commission’s open-bathroom rule. The Bill gains the co-sponsorship of 14 Senators upon introduction, and a hearing is set for January 27, 2016.

January 22, 2016: Human Rights Commission Executive Director Sharon Ortiz testifies before the House General Government and Information Technology Committee and affirms that none of the public work groups related to the bathroom rule making process were well-attended.  Further, she claims that budget cuts were the reason that the group waited over two years to make rules using the input gathered in the 2012 work groups, and also claims that the Human Rights Commission hasn’t been able to publish any of their activities online because they don’t have access to their website.  You can watch that exchange here.

January 27, 2016: The Washington State Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor holds a public hearing on SB 6443 in Olympia. Hundreds of concerned citizens travel to Olympia to attend the hearing and give testimony. After the hearing, the Senate’s Commerce & Labor Committee votes in favor of the bill, sending it to the Senate Rules Committee.

February 2, 2016: 10,000 people have signed a petition to the Washington Legislature to repeal the bathroom rule.

February 10, 2016: The Washington State Senate pulls SB 6443 from the Rules Committee to a floor vote.  After nearly an hour of debate, the Senate votes against SB 6443 by a vote of 25-24.  With this action, the Senate effectively kills the bill’s chances to become law, as well as the legislature’s ability to repeal the open-bathroom rule.  You can see who voted against the bill here.

February 15, 2016: Concerned citizens from Kitsap and Pierce Counties organize a rally at the Capitol in Olympia demanding that the legislature revive and prioritize the effort to repeal the bathroom rule.

February 17, 2016: The Just Want Privacy Campaign is announced, which aims to repeal the Human Rights Commission’s Bathroom Rule by way of initiative process in the November 2016 election.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in the repeal effort, you can contact the Just Want Privacy Campaign.

BREAKING: Pierce and Kitsap YMCA President and CEO Bob Ecklund Retires


YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties President and CEO Bob Ecklund is retiring.  You can read the YMCA’s press release at this link.
The YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties was thrust into the spotlight early on in the open-locker rooms debate in Washington State.  After quietly adopting a new policy that opened YMCA locker rooms and showers to individuals based on their gender identity, without notice to members, they were forced to rescind their policy after public outrage and a decline in memberships. They reinstated much of the policy a short time later, even earning the praise of Washington Governor Jay Inslee.

In response to the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule, the Just Want Privacy Campaign has been launched by Washington citizens as a way to roll back this overstep.  You can read more about how to volunteer or donate to the campaign here.

FPIW Releases New Video, “Truth is Compassion”

 

 

The Family Policy Institute of Washington has released its newest video, entitled “Truth is Compassion.”

This video was picked up and editorialized by Glenn Beck’s media giant TheBlaze over the weekend, pushing it into national spotlight as several states grapple with issues relating to transgender bathroom/locker room policies.

“The left is now aggressively pushing protected class status based on what someone says they are irrespective of reality,” FPIW’s executive director, Joseph Backholm told TheBlaze. “People should be free to ‘identify’ as something if they want to, but no one should have the power of government to be able to force someone else to agree with you.”

“Everyone wants to be compassionate. But before we start down the path of giving people protecting class status based on what they say they are, we need to think about where that road could lead,” Backholm added. “We hope this video helps to do that.”

Watch the video here:

For more updates, follow @FPIW on Twitter, and on Facebook.

An Open Letter on the Bathroom Rule


Dear FPIW,

I am really grateful for your leadership and resourcefulness on this “Open Bathroom/Showers” issue. I have PTSD, am a rape survivor, as well as a domestic violence survivor.

I already wrote senators and did all that I could.  I wish that these heartless legislators who said for people to “stop being afraid” could understand what it is like to be raped, and understand that people with PTSD cannot just ‘stop being afraid’.  When naked men are allowed to be in the stall next to women as they undress or they emerge from the gym shower with their naked penis in full view, for the women and children undressing, it is SHOCKING and TERRIFYING.

I cannot see a stranger’s penis and simply “not react.”

PTSD (especially with repeated experiences of violence) is physiological and, as I have learned, actually alters part of the limbic area of the brain AND the autonomic nervous system (“fight or flight”).  When I am around a ‘trigger’ (such as an image that triggers a memory), I have a physical reaction — shaking, fright, nausea; I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, feeling that my well-being might be threatened.  I cannot control this automatic physical reaction.

If I were to suddenly be next to a naked man, I know I would panic, suffer physically from the instantaneous physical reactions from my PTSD, and would need the entire day to calm down.  Why would a ‘transgender’ person get their ‘feelings hurt’ just by using the restroom/shower that matches their anatomy?

We cannot just sacrifice our safety.  It may just be a matter of time for a woman or a child to be raped as predators enjoy this new, easy opportunity by just waltzing right in, pretending to be transgendered.

God help us through this nightmare.

God Bless you all.

-Anonymous

Breaking News: WA Senate Kills Efforts to Repeal Open-Bathroom Rule

 

Update: 3:35pm PST

The Washington State Senate has voted against passage of SB 6443, a bill that would have repealed the Human Rights Commission’s dangerous open-bathroom rule, by a vote of 25-24.

Three Republicans voted alongside Democrats to kill this bill: Senator Joe Fain, Senator Steve Litzow, and Senator Andy Hill. Senator Jim Hargrove and Senator Tim Sheldon broke ranks with their fellow Democrats and voted for the bill.

Update: 3:47pm PST

Joseph Backholm, Executive Director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, has released this statement in regards to the Washington Senate’s action to kill SB 6443:

“Today, the Washington State Senate voted to repeal the right to privacy that every person in Washington State has long expected in locker rooms and bathrooms.  In doing so, they have created legal protections for those who would access private spaces to do harm.  They have also created significant liability for businesses and schools who would try to protect students and customers.

The public understands that common sense and compassion are not in conflict, but in a political environment simple truths are sometimes lost.”

For press availability for Mr. Backholm, please contact FPIW’s offices at (425) 608-0242.

Stay tuned for more information throughout the day.

Update: 4:44pm PST

You can view a list of the Senators who voted for and against this bill by clicking here.  FPIW is urging concerned citizens to contact their Senators to share your thoughts about this vote and ask those who voted ‘NO’ to reconsider.

 

Meet the Human Rights Commissioners Who Gave Us Open Bathrooms

 

In December, five unelected members of the Human Rights Commission of Washington, quietly instituted WAC (Washington Administrative Code) Rule 162-32, or the “Open-Bathroom Rule” — the rule that requires schools, businesses, and all other “public accommodations” grant any individual access to restrooms, locker rooms, or shower facilities based on the way they claim to identity or express themselves internally.

This misguided mandate puts everyone at risk.  Children at school, a place where safety and privacy should be more important than anything else; business owners who risk being sued for legitimate attempts to protect their customers’ safety — they’re all targets of a leftist plot to give an excruciatingly small segment of the population a little bit more comfort with their dysphoria. You can read the full text of the Human Rights Commission’s rule here.

To be clear, the concern related to this rule is not that transgendered people are necessarily predators.  The concern is that the rule creates opportunities for those who are.  Regardless, the loss of privacy is an injury even if no assault takes place. Emotional harm is real too.

The Commissioners, who are appointed by Washington’s governor, have the authority to make such rules—which amount to state law—with limited input from the people or state legislators.  As evidenced by the recent open-bathroom WAC, the commissioners are uniquely positioned to do whatever they feel is fit, and generally, no one has questioned it (hence, why they hadn’t published their activities online for almost two years).

We at the Family Policy Institute of Washington think that it’s important for the people to know who’s making decisions for them, especially since these commissioners remain almost completely unaccountable, except to Governor Jay Inslee (who won’t answer your question about the open-bathroom rule unless you’re with the Associated Press).  Here’s a bit more about the Human Rights Commissioners who gave us the open-bathroom rule:

strong Charlene Strong (@CStrongSeattle): A commissioner since 2009, Charlene Strong is a very involved and well-known LGBT activist who was previously married to a man, but came out as gay and later began a partnership with narrator Kate Fleming. Fleming’s death in 2006 motivated Strong to lobby the Washington State legislature to pass a domestic partnership bill, which it did in 2007.  As a result of her LGBT activism, she met with President Obama to discuss legalization of same-sex marriage, and has also met with other progressive celebrities.  She currently works closely with Equal Rights Washington, an LGBT advocacy group that seeks to ban therapy for teens with unwanted same-sex attraction and hormone therapy access for minors — and even young children — who believe they are transgender.

You can contact Commissioner Strong by clicking here.

 


55_skyleeRobinsonSkylee Robinson (@skyleejane): Robinson is a commercial litigator for Nellermoe Wrenn, PPLC, a graduate of the University of Washington’s law school, a former paralegal for the Army National Guard, and a member of the Board of Trustees for the Pike Place Market Foundation.  According to her attorney bio, Skylee has “always been committed to civic engagement,” and has worked extensively to represent illegal immigrant workers in court.  Robinson has also been known to participate in LGBT activism, attending Pride Parades in Seattle with her fellow commissioners.

You can email Ms. Robinson to share your thoughts here.


 

58_ClarenceHendersonClarence Henderson (@hendeezi): Henderson, a member of the commission since June 2012, is a native of Alabama and a graduate of Norfolk State University as well as Regent University School of Law. Outside of the HRC, Henderson serves as a Board Advisor to the Tacoma Urban League Young Professionals. Henderson is based in Tacoma, Washington and works as a defense attorney in Pierce County. He was once part of a high-profile case that was part of an effort to fight the state’s “auto-decline” law, which automatically refers juveniles who commit certain violent crimes to adult courts. Click here to email Mr. Henderson.


62_LenoreThreeStarsLenore Three Stars: Lenore is Oglala Lakota, born on the same reservation as her father, the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota. Lenore spent many years working as a civil rights activist with the U.S. Department of Education in Seattle, Washington, where she worked to resolve discrimination complaints, further Native American education in public schools, and help native students succeed. Currently, Lenore is a part-time grad student at the North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies, and works for both a native non-profit, as well as an Evangelical Church. Indeed, Lenore has discussed her religious journey extensively through videos and blog posts. Given her commitment to the Church, it’s interesting that she would support the open-bathroom policy, as it could potentially require some Washington churches to open themselves up to liability and wrongfully interfere with the separation of church and state.


 

63_SteveHuntStephen Hunt, Chairman: Hunt, a native of Massachusetts, was appointed to the HRC in 2012.  In the past, he worked for the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), engaging in extensive work extensively dealing with discrimination in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. In addition, he worked directly with the Tribal Employment Rights Offices (TERO) for 21 tribes in these states.  He is a self-proclaimed “expert” in employment discrimination laws and the administrative process, though he has no formal legal training.  The EEOC, which began classifying transgender individuals a protected class only within the past few years, has been a major player in attempts to vilify those who voice opposition to issues with transgender rights.

You can email Chairman Hunt here.


Good government happens when people are engaged on the issues.  We encourage all concerned citizens to contact the Human Rights Commission to express your concern with this rule.  While they aren’t elected by the people, they survive on taxpayer dollars, and they should be held accountable by the people who allow them to exist.  If you don’t like something, say something.

The Human Rights Commission’s stated mission is “to prevent and eliminate discrimination through the fair application of the law, the efficient use of resources, and the establishment of productive partnerships in the community.”

Don’t think these unelected few should have the power to make legally-binding rules?  Want the Commission and the state legislature to know that you want this rule repealed?  Sign our petition here and be sure to contact your legislators, which you can do through our contact portal here.

With your help, we can put a stop to the HRC’s overreach and repeal this dangerous open-bathroom policy.  Supporters of the open-bathroom rule give large amounts of money to the causes they care about. Please consider joining forces with FPIW in our efforts to repeal the open-bathroom rule.  Thank you.

Mid-Week Update: Bathroom Rule Repeals Still Alive

 

We’ve had many calls, emails, and messages in the office today asking for updates on the repeal of the bathroom rule.  Ask and you shall receive!

All three of the bills focused on this effort contain provisions to repeal the dangerous policy enacted by the Human Rights Commission. Even if one or all of these bills are passed by both chambers, they must also be signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee, who, while he has declined to comment, has not been sympathetic of public safety concerns to this point.  Of course, in election years, politicians’ actions are often unpredictable, as many are worried about re-election — that’s why the volume of phone calls and emails is so important to these efforts.  You can read our initial article explaining the repeal process here.

FPIW encourages all concerned citizens to email their legislators about this issue, call their offices, and contact Governor Inslee’s office as well.  For bills marked “SB”, you should contact Senators; for bills marked “HB”, you should contact members of the House of Representatives.  Share your concerns. Your input matters and your concerns are being heard. Stand with FPIW to fight this policy to the end!


 

The Bills

SB 6548 by Senator Judy Warnick must be passed by the Senate Law and Justice Committee and moved to the Senate Rules Committee by Friday, February 5th, in order to remain alive.  (UPDATE, 3:07pm PST): SB 6548 will be voted on by the Senate Committee on Law and Justice on Wednesday, February 3rd at 5:30pm.  This bill would amend the underlying civil rights law used to enact the Human Rights Commission Rule, to clarify that the law did not intend to say that gender identity or gender expression are sufficient reasons to enter a bathroom, locker room, or shower facility, and that biology must be accounted for in entry policies.


HB 2589 must be passed by the House Judiciary Committee by Friday, February 5th, in order to remain alive. To this point, House Judiciary Chair Laurie Jinkins has remained resolute in her unwillingness to allow the public to provide input on this issue in her committee.  If HB 2589 does not get a hearing and pass through the House Judiciary Committee by Friday, other methods will have to be pursued to bring this bill to the floor for a vote.  Clarification: All three of the bathroom rule repeal bills are filed separately, meaning that even if HB 2589 fails to make it out of the House Judiciary Committee by the deadline, SB 6443 and SB 6548 are still active and alive.  


SB 6443 by Senator Doug Ericksen has made the most progress to date. This bill calls for a repeal of the provisions in WAC 162-32 that opens up bathroom, locker room, and shower facilities, and removes the Human Rights Commission’s authority to make rules on that subject ever again. This bill is currently at step 7 in the 22-step legislative process. You can click here to watch a video that explains the legislative process in Washington.  The Senate Rules Committee is likely to recommend passage of SB 6443 this week.  Once it passes in the Rules committee, it is eligible to be pulled to the Senate Floor for a full vote.  A full Senate vote must take place before February 17th at 5:00pm in order to remain alive.


Background on the Bathroom Rule

On December 26th, 2015, the Human Rights Commission enacted a rule, WAC 162-32, that contains provisions that open up bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities inside “public accommodations” by allowing people to enter those facilities by the way they claim to identify internally rather than what their DNA and biological structure would show. Because of the rule’s clause that makes it unlawful to ask “unwelcome questions” such as the gender or motives of a person entering the facility, concern exists that sexual predators – who otherwise would never otherwise claim to identify as a woman — may use this rule to shower with women or spy on them in the bathroom with better legal protections.

The Human Rights Commission has rule making authority delegated by the legislature. Therefore, the rules it makes are legally-binding and do not require the legislature’s approval to go into effect.   The legislature does, however, have the authority to overrule the Human Rights Commission, and change the level of authority that the commission carries.

If you have any questions, please call our office at 425-608-0242.

The HRC Tries to Explain the Bathroom Rule…and Fails.

The Washington State Human Rights Commission is in damage control mode.  About a month after a rule allowing access to bathrooms based on gender identity and gender expression, the public is still outraged.

Legislative offices have reported receiving as many as a thousand phone calls and emails about the issue and as a result three bills have been introduced in an attempt to fix the problem. While the sponsors of these bills are all Republicans, conversations around the capitol show that concern about the implications of this new rule are definitely bi-partisan.

Earlier this week, somewhere between 500 and 800 people showed up at the Capitol for a public hearing on the issue, the vast majority of which were in support of legislation to nullify the HRC’s rule.

The public outrage has led the HRC to create Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document.  While the document represents a noble attempt to make the rules seem reasonable, the information it provides is not accurate.

For example, the FAQ document says:

The rules include a provision that transgender individuals cannot be required to use a gender segregated facility that is inconsistent with their gender identity.  The rules do not give protections to anyone who accesses gender segregated facilities under false pretense, nor do the rules protect anyone who acts in an illegal or inappropriate manner.

The issue that everyone except the members of the HRC seem to understand is that, since trans-genderism is a legal status that depends entirely on the feelings of the person involved, it is impossible to prove whether someone has false or true pretenses.

When Taylor Buehler was arrested inside a woman’s locker room at Everett Community College, he was arrested for voyeurism; for simply being present in a place where he did not belong.  He was also wearing a bra and wig.  If Taylor Buehler went into the women’s locker room at Everett Community College today, he would have a legal right to be present.

Don’t you dare try to make a legally meaningful difference between the two.

The entire purpose of the transgender movement is to eliminate a legal standard for what it means to be anything.

This is exactly the point the HRC makes only a few sentences later.

The definition in the law does not limit protections to persons who have certain anatomical characteristics, who have had gender reassignment surgery, or who have undergone any other medical treatment.

So how are you supposed to know whether someone is acting under “false pretenses” or not? You’re not.

Then they attempt to deal with the sharpest criticism of the new rule.

Q:        Can men now go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms?

A:        No.  Only females can go into women’s bathrooms or locker rooms in a gender segregated situation.  This includes transgender females who identify as female.  The rules do not protect persons who go into a restroom or locker room under false pretenses.  For example, if a man declares himself to be transgender for the sole purpose of entering a women’s restroom or locker room, then the rule would not protect him.

Here we encounter the same problem.

What is the difference between a transgender female and a male?  The thoughts in his head.  How exactly is law enforcement going to prove that someone doesn’t feel female?  They aren’t.

But it gets even better.  In an attempt to provide clarity for businesses who want to know if someone is “legitimately” transgender or “just pretending”, the FAQ document says this:

The rules do not prohibit asking legitimate questions about a person’s presence in a gender segregated facility.  It is suggested that these questions be asked in a polite and non-confrontational manner.

This sounds reasonable.  The only problem is that the rule they actually passed says this:

(2) Prohibited conduct. Prohibited conduct may include, but is not limited to, the following: (a) Asking unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, transgender status, or sex assigned at birth;

So…you are prohibited from asking “unwelcome personal questions” but apparently they’re ok with you asking “legitimate questions.”

Clear as mud.

Washington businesses can rest comfortably knowing that your liability will rest on a court’s determination of whether your question was “unwelcome” or “legitimate.”  Meanwhile, the rest of the world points out the fact that a question can be both legitimate and unwelcome.

They go on to assure businesses that…

In addition, it is extremely unlikely that someone who is pretending to be transgender, and who is ejected from a facility, will take the steps of filing a complaint or a lawsuit against that facility.

Clearly the members of the HRC have never met a lawyer before.  If your client is caught in the bathroom with a bra and wig and charged with voyeurism or indecent exposure, any last-in-his-law-school-class public defender will be able to argue that his presence in the girls locker room was lawful because he was “expressing” as a female. “Your honor,” says the lawyer as he picks up the HRC rule, “says right here in black and white. He had a right to be there.”

Filing the complaint against the business to show just how offended the defendant was for the “unwelcome questions” will be the cherry on top.

The irony is that the first time this happens, the very people on the Human Rights Commission who are today assuring businesses that this can never happen could be reprimanding the business involved for their intolerance and their rush to judgment.

But it gets worse.   Regarding those who might “pretend” to be transgender, the FAQ document goes on to say…

If they do so, then the investigation conducted by an enforcement agency will uncover the fact that the person was not being honest about their status, and thus is not protected under the law against discrimination.  Any individual who fraudulently claims to be transgender for the purpose of entering a gender segregated facility in order to engage in illegal activity may also be subject to criminal prosecution.

So…you can’t enjoy the privileges of being transgender unless you actually are transgender?  Have we learned nothing?  Clearly, the HRC is intolerant of the trans-transgender.  You know, those who identify as transgender but actually aren’t.

Apparently male and female are completely fluid concepts, but transgenderism is a title given only to the qualified.

What about the potential for increased crime in locker rooms?  According to their FAQ document…

This rule does not protect behavior that is criminal or inappropriate.  Anyone, regardless of their transgender status, who is behaving inappropriately in a restroom or locker room, can be required to leave.  Law enforcement should be called whenever criminal behavior is observed or suspected.

The problem is, that many people think “behaving inappropriately” extends to people with a penis who undress in the women’s locker room.  Until this rule was adopted, the police would have been able to intervene if that were happening.

But not now.

With the new HRC rules, simply exposing yourself or watching others undress is now a protected activity.

But there’s more from the FAQ document:

Q. Did people have an opportunity to provide input before the rules were put into place?

A. Yes.  The process for agency rule-making is set out in the law, and the Human Rights Commission followed this process….During the public comment period, not a single objection or fear was raised about the issue of transgender individuals using the gender segregated facility with which they identify.

The only possible explanation for the fact that no concerns were raised is that, regardless of what was posted on an obscure website, the public did not have a real opportunity to provide input.  Or if they did, they were not aware of it.

In their attempt to answer frequently asked questions, the HRC is saying, “Don’t look at what we wrote, look at what we meant.”

Unfortunately for them, Guttenberg did invent the printing press and most of us learned how to read.

If they want the words to mean something else, they need to write different words.  Or, maybe the rule is “trans-reasonable” and it only appears to be crazy.

Yeah, that’s it.  Everyone move along.

You can call your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email a message to all your legislators by clicking here.