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Transgender Bathrooms and the Real War on Women

 

You’ve heard it before.

Don’t think it’s awesome to abort babies? You’re engaged in a war on women.

Don’t want to pay for someone else’s abortion or birth control? That’s also part of the war on women.

Don’t think a baby should be aborted just because she’s a girl? Somehow, that is also part of the war on women.

Even if a woman is making the argument.

Opposition to abortion is framed as a “war on women” because only women can have babies.

Men can’t be “burdened” with a pregnancy for biological reasons; therefore, it is a matter of equality to ensure that women can’t be either.

Underlying this entire argument is the belief that some issues are unique to women.

In fairness, the fact that women and men are different is something that the left and right have long been able to agree on.

Until now, perhaps.

You may have heard that the Washington State Human Rights Commission (HRC) recently issued a mandate that all schools and public accommodations open up their bathroom facilities based on gender identity rather than biological gender.

Presented as a step toward inclusion for those who experience gender dysphoria, the premise underlying this rule is in direct conflict with everything the left has always said about women and women’s rights.

By issuing this rule, the HRC notified women that “women’s right to privacy” does not extend to public bathrooms.

Women are now being told that it is wrong for them to be uncomfortable if the person in the locker next to them at the local gym has a penis. They’re just supposed to accept that “in his head, he feels just like you.”

If a woman is unable to overcome her prejudice, the mandate requires her to be removed from the locker room so the man won’t feel judged.

This new mandate is not simply a war on an individual woman’s right to privacy in the bathroom, it is a war on womanhood in general. Indeed, the transgender phenomenon is an attempt to force the world to accept that being a woman is nothing more than a feeling.

People are running for President today demanding “equal pay for equal work.”

Volumes of federal and state laws have been written to ensure equal protection for women in every area of civil life.

The federal government and most states have programs designed to help businesses owned by women.

Most universities in America have “Women’s Studies” programs that encourage students to understand issues unique to women.

Then, in that same university, you’ll walk down the hall and see a sign outside the bathroom reminding you that there is nothing—not even anatomy—that is actually unique to women.

So basically, the message is that, “Being a woman is very special. But the really good news is that, anyone can be a woman!”

After all, Caitlyn Jenner was named “Woman of the Year” by US magazine in 2015.

We’ve all heard about the war on women.

And there may actually be one.

But it might be worth revisiting whether it is being waged by those insisting that every baby girl has the right to her first breath, or by those trying to convince you that every man is only an outfit change or plastic surgery away from being part of the sisterhood.

Or maybe I’m just being a man—if there is such a thing.

Follow Joseph Backholm on Twitter for more updates and commentaries.

WA Senate Introduces Bill to Repeal New Open-Bathroom Rule

 

Members of the Washington State Senate have introduced a bill to repeal the Human Rights Commission’s new open-bathroom rule.  Senate Bill 6443 is similar to the House Bill 2589, which was introduced last week on the same topic.

Proponents of the bill are concerned about the implications that the Human Rights Commission’s new rule will have for women and children.  The rule mandates that schools, businesses, parks, and other public accommodations begin allowing people to use restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities based on their internal identification rather than their biological gender.

In addition to the new policy on access to facilities, the new rule also bars individuals from directing “unwelcome questions” to those using facilities and makes it illegal to use pronouns consistent with biological gender if the person requests something otherwise.  You can read more about the now-effective bathroom policy here.

Here is a list of Senators currently signed on to sponsor SB 6443:

  • Senator Doug Ericksen (42nd L.D.)
  • Senator Barbara Bailey (10th L.D.)
  • Senator Mike Padden (4th L.D.)
  • Senator Steven O’Ban (28th L.D.)
  • Senator Jan Angel (26th L.D.)
  • Senator Randi Becker (2nd L.D.)
  • Senator John Braun (20th L.D.)
  • Senator Mark Miloscia (30th L.D.)
  • Senator Judy Warnick (13th L.D.)
  • Senator Bruce Dammeier (25th L.D.)
  • Senator Jim Honeyford (15th L.D.)
  • Senator Mike Hewitt (16th L.D.)

If you’d like to get involved on this issue to protect women and children from predators, here are some ways you can join the effort:

  • Thousands of Washingtonians have made calls and written emails and letters to their legislators.  If you would like to, please click here to use our contact portal.
  • Washingtonians from every county in our state have signed onto a petition to urge the legislature to repeal the HRC rule on open-bathroom.  Click here to add your name.
  • If you use Twitter, Tweet your reason for opposing the HRC rule using the hashtag #HRCTargetingMe.
  • Subscribe to FPIW’s weekly podcast, FYI, for updates on issues like these.  Click here for more.

Lake Stevens School District Proposing New Bathroom Policy Tonight

 

FPIW has learned that the Lake Stevens School District’s School Board of Directors plans to meet tonight, in part, to implement a new bathroom policy, in order to be “compliant” with Washington State’s new bathroom policy.

You can read a copy of the proposed policy here.

The Human Rights Commission of Washington passed WAC 162-32, mandating that all schools and businesses implement a new open-bathroom policy.  While this policy legally opens up women’s restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to men, the rule creates a loophole that allows men who claim to ‘identify’ as a woman to gain access, increasing opportunities for potential predators to attack and abuse with little ability to prosecute them.

School Districts’ first priority should be protecting the safety and privacy of its students, and there are legal consequences to consider if they do not.

Concerned citizens are encouraged to call the Lake Stevens School Board of Directors (425) 335-1502 to express their concerns, and attend the meeting tonight.

Lake Stevens School Board Meeting

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016 at 6:30pm

School District Building

Educational Service Center in the Community Room

12309 22nd St NE

Lake Stevens, WA 98258

Bill to Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortions Introduced in WA Legislature

 

State Representative David Taylor has introduced a bill that aims to restrict public funding for elective abortions.

HB 2294, which has 20 co-sponsors, states that, while “every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions,” that the state “may not provide benefits or services to permit a woman to voluntarily terminate her pregnancy, except when the abortion is medically necessary.”

The bill does not not limit the ability for anyone to receive an abortion, but limits the state’s ability to use taxpayer funding to pay for them.

This effort comes on the heels of uncovered legal and ethical concerns regarding abortion-providing facilities, such as Planned Parenthood, which accepted over $500 million in taxpayer funding in 2014.

Washingtonians are urged to call their State Representatives to share their thoughts on HB 2294.   You can call your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.

You can email your legislators about this or any other issue here.

Stay connected with us at www.fpiw.org or at Facebook.com/familypolicy for updates on this and every other issue affecting life, marriage, religious freedom, and parental rights in the legislative session.

Gov. Inslee Won’t Answer Question About Bathroom Rule; Bryant Opposes

 

On December 26th, a new rule went into effect that has generated a significant public response.   The rule, which was passed by the Washington State Human Rights Commission, mandates that all schools and businesses in Washington State maintain open bathroom/locker room policies which will allow people to choose the facility they want to use based on their gender identity or gender expression.

It makes it illegal for any school or business to ask someone to use a bathroom that corresponds to their biological gender or to provide them a separate gender neutral option.

Members of the Human Rights Commission are appointed by Governor Inslee.

InsleeYesterday, FPIW communications director Zach Freeman had a chance to talk with Gov. Jay Inslee as well as his Republican challenger Bill Bryant to ask them their thoughts on the new rule.

Gov. Inslee appeared uncomfortable and resorted to asking Mr. Freeman a series of questions in an apparent attempt to avoid answering any questions himself:

Gov. Inslee: Are you a journalist?

Mr. Freeman: I’m trying to be.

Gov. Inslee: Who do you work with?

Mr. Freeman: The Family Policy Institute of Washington

Gov. Inslee: Who is that?

Mr. Freeman: It’s Joseph Backholm’s group…

Gov. Inslee: It’s a what group?

Mr. Freeman: It’s a group that does family policy

Gov. Inslee: Well what kind of family policy

Mr. Freeman: We do issues of marriage, life, religious freedom…the things that nobody really likes to talk about.

Gov. Inslee: Really? What kind of things are they working on?

Mr. Freeman: Well, at the moment I’m actually asking about the bathroom rule that was proposed by the Human Rights Commission…

Gov. Inslee then cut off the question by again asking Mr. Freeman if he was a journalist and who he was working for.

He concluded the exchange by telling Mr. Freeman that if he became a part of the Associated Press “then I’m really happy to answer your question.”

You can hear the full audio of the brief but awkward exchange below:

After the interview, FPIW reached out to Governor Inslee’s press office for a statement on the issue but they have not responded.

BryantBill Bryant, the only current challenger to Gov. Inslee in the 2016 gubernatorial election, was also in Olympia yesterday. He was more willing to discuss the issue. “Everybody deserves to be in an environment where they feel safe.” Bryant said.  “That includes someone who is transitioning between genders, but it also includes a high school girl who wants to go into a locker room.  I think the Human Rights Commission picked the rights of one group over the rights of others.”

Bryant suggested that it would be appropriate for the Governor to set the rule aside for 24 or 48 months so that the legislature can address it.  You can hear Mr. Bryant’s statement below:

If you are a member of the Associated Press, you can contact the Governor’s office at 360-902-4111 where he would apparently be happy to answer your questions about this issue.  Please do ask, because the rest of us would like to know.

Everyone else can use that number to share their thoughts about this issue with the Governor.  If you do, please be respectful. He needs to hear from you, but not if you’re angry.  That only hurts the cause.   Besides, the person answering the phone is not the Governor.  It’s just someone doing their job who probably hasn’t ever done anything mean to you.  But if you’re kind to them, they’ll be happy to relay the message.

You can also email the Governor by clicking here.

New Bathroom Rule: It’s Worse Than We Thought

 

Last week, news broke about a new rule passed by the Washington State Human Rights Commission creating a statewide mandate that businesses must allow men into women’s bathrooms and locker rooms if they say they are a woman.

But as details have become available, it appears the final version of the rule is actually worse than the proposed rule. Here are some of the “highlights”:

  1. Mandate on Schools as Well as Businesses

While the draft rule imposed a mandate on every business in the state, it provided discretion for schools to deal with each case on a case-by-case basis.

However, the final rule removed any discretion for school officials and mandates that all schools must allow boys into the girl’s locker room if they claim to be a girl.

  1. Women will be removed from the women’s restroom. Naked men will not.

The rule states that it is illegal to ask someone who is confused about their gender to use a separate facility for the benefit of women and children who might be uncomfortable.

However, once a man begins to undress in the women’s locker room a person who “expresses concern or discomfort…should be directed to a separate or gender-neutral facility.”

So, all you women who are uncomfortable with the naked guy over there, “Please come with me and leave him alone.”

  1. The rule bans lots of speech

In addition to prohibiting reasonable accommodations that recognize the public’s right to privacy along with the bathroom needs of the transgendered, this rule targets a wide range of speech.

It is illegal to ask “unwelcome personal questions about an individual’s sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, or transgender status.”

The commission provides no guidance to the public about how they are supposed to know which questions are unwelcome before they ask them.

It is also illegal for a business to deliberately “misuse” someone’s preferred pronoun. If a man believes he is a woman, but you refer to him as a “he” anyway, he can sue you.

However, you should be careful not to ask questions about which pronoun he prefers. Remember, if that’s an “unwelcome question” he can sue you for that.

It is also now illegal to use “offensive names, slurs, jokes, or terminology regarding an individual’s sexual orientation or gender expression or gender identity.”

The fact that “offensive” is an undefined and completely subjective term that provides no guidance to the public about what they can and cannot do is apparently lost on the commission.

The best advice may be to just stop speaking. As we all know, someone is offended by everything.


WATCH: Joseph Backholm answers some FAQ’s on the new bathroom policy

Video

Frequently Asked Questions

As the public wrestles with how to respond to this, here are some of the most frequent questions we have been asked in the last few days.

1.  Is this really true?

Very few other media outlets have covered this story. That has led a lot of people to wonder if there isn’t some kind of mistake. Sadly, there is no mistake. Other news outlets have began to cover the story here, here, and here.

2. What will happen if I violate this rule?

The Human Rights Commission has the authority to issue fines and create a range of orders intended to “eliminate the effects of an unfair practice and prevent the recurrence of the unfair practice.”

The rule specifically states that businesses and schools open themselves up to civil liability for violations of any of their new rules.

3. Who made this rule anyway?

The Washington State Human Rights Commission was created to help enforce the Washington State Law Against Discrimination. There are five members who are appointed by the Governor and are not subject to election. You can find them here.

While rule-making authority is frequently delegated to agencies for the purpose of enforcing laws the legislature passes, the concern is that a policy of this magnitude and scope far exceeds what the legislature intended or the public expected when the non-discrimination law was passed.

4.  What can I do?

While the Human Rights Commission has authority delegated to it by the legislature, the legislature has the authority and responsibility to correct mistakes made by agencies or commissions.

You can contact your legislators through the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them all at one time by clicking here.  If we know your address, this tool allow you to email them all at once.

5.  Isn’t this outrage just much ado about nothing?

If you believe a rule of this kind would never be exploited by people with bad intentions, simply search for Jason Pomares, Norwood Smith Burnes, or Taylor Buehler on the search engine of your choice.

Burnes exposed himself to children in a Walmart restroom in 2010 while Pomares dressed as a woman and snuck into a Macy’s bathroom to videotape women in 2013.  Buehler wore a bra and wig and slipped into a bathroom and locker room in 2012 to watch women at Everett Community College. All three men were arrested.

In addition, Christopher Hambrook sexually assaulted multiple women in a Toronto women’s shelter while “identifying” as a woman.

Sexual predators look for opportunity. This provides it.

UPDATE: Click here to see Governor Jay Inslee’s response to the Human Rights Commission’s bathroom rule.

Everything we do is made possible by friends like you.  If you can chip in $5 or more to help restore rational bathroom policies, we’d be grateful.

Olympia Pharmacy Appealing to U.S. Supreme Court to Defeat WA Law

The owners of an Olympia pharmacy are requesting that the United States Supreme Court hear a case involving a Washington state law that requires them to stock and dispense Plan B and ella, two drugs which the FDA confirms can destroy a human embryo.  The pills are commonly referred to as “emergency contraception” and are used to mitigate possible unintended pregnancies in their early stages.

The other 49 states in America have guidelines for pharmacists to refer clients when their request violates their religious convictions, but Washington State does not.

Many believe that the rule in question was essentially crafted by Planned Parenthood, who worked closely with then-Governor Christine Gregoire to create a policy unlike any other in the United States.

The Washington Pharmacy Association voted unanimously against removing the right of pharmacies to refer clients to other dispensaries in cases of religious exception, in direct opposition to Governor Gregoire’s efforts.  Subsequently, many of the members of the state’s Pharmacy Commission found themselves removed and replaced by the Governor in the following year.

You can read more of the case’s snapshot at this link.

The Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the owners of Ralph’s Thriftway in this case.  You can read the text of ADF’s petition to the Supreme Court at this link.

Sign up to receive FPIW’s email updates and stay informed when it comes to protecting religious freedom in Washington State.

Why Give Thanks?

We know we get the day off from work. Typically we enjoy an oversized dinner after which the men retreat to the living room to sleep it off under the glow of a football game while the women talk about the men as they do the dishes.

That’s what our holiday often looks like.

But is that Thanksgiving?

We’ve all been touched by messages about why it’s so good to be thankful. And on some level, we recognize that if we lived by clichés our life really would be better.

After all, it seems like it would be better to always live with an attitude of gratitude.

But there’s so much we are frustrated by.

This is particularly true for those of us who feel a tremendous sense of anxiety about the state of the world.

We have no idea when the economy is going to recover.

The First Amendment is under serious attack.

The threat from radical Islamic terror is no longer just “over there”.

That’s not to mention all the things in our own lives and families that are broken.

If you feel like it would be nice to be thankful but reality is in the way, spend a moment thinking about the premise of thankfulness.

Thankfulness is a function of our reality compared to our expectations. When reality is better than what we expect or feel we deserve, we’re thankful. When reality is worse than we expect or feel we deserve, we become bitter and angry.

If you win the lottery, you’re going to be thankful because, though they told you that “some lucky dog’s gonna win it”, you never thought that lucky dog was going to be you.

I don’t thank people every time they walk by me without punching me in the nose. After all, I have the expectation that they will not.

Instead of being thankful to each person who doesn’t assault me, I would be quite put off by the person who did.

So it is in all of life. The moment we feel entitled to something is the moment we cease to be thankful for it. After all, I deserve it.

For Christians, a sense of entitlement is particularly troubling because we know that we deserve hell.

I don’t want to minimize the real pain that exists in people’s lives in an attempt to encourage gratitude. Nor do I think a recognition of how little we are genuinely entitled to should cause us to be apathetic to the needs of others.

But this Thanksgiving, if you have a few minutes, sit down with your family and make a list of the things you think you are entitled to. My guess is that the more things you have on that list, the likelier it will be that you are finding it hard to fully participate in the spirit of this particular holiday.

But, if the only item on the list of things you deserve is “hell”?

Well, Happy Thanksgiving indeed.

Residents React to Unsafe Bathroom Policy, Delay Vote

As reported Wednesday, the Colville School District Board of Directors attempted to quietly pass a policy that would allow boys to enter girls bathrooms, and vice versa, with no questions asked.

That is, until 300 Colville residents showed up at the school board meeting last night to express their concern.

Under intense and likely unexpected public pressure, the board of directors decided to table the new proposed bathroom policy to a later date.  In the meantime, parents, residents, and concerned citizens are encouraged to read this memo from Alliance Defending Freedom, explaining why schools are not legally obligated to allow students to use opposite-sex bathrooms, showers, and locker room facilities.

If you have any questions or would like to get involved in the effort to protect children from this dangerous policy, please email info@fpiw.org.

Why You Should Run for School Board

Yesterday, I got a phone call from a friend in Colville, WA.

She had recently learned that the Colville School Board was quietly pushing through a transgender bathroom policy that would prohibit schools from requiring students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological gender.

While the public has been essentially unaware, it is scheduled for a vote tonight (Wednesday, November 18th).

If you aren’t familiar with Washington State, Colville is in northeastern Washington. Geographically and politically, it is a long way from Seattle.

The area hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Washington State legislature in generations.

So how is it that their school board is about to enact a policy that the community is strongly opposed to?

Because in policy, the winners are the ones who show up.

While Colville and the surrounding areas are conservative, the school board is controlled by leftists. According to my friend, three of them were elected in the most recent election without an opponent.

School board isn’t a glamorous job, but it matters.

Colville isn’t the only conservative town in America with leftist political leadership. Why is that?

People have a desire to be part of something bigger than themselves. We all want our lives to be significant. We all want to do something to make the world a better place.

Many, particularly those on the right side of the political spectrum, find meaning and significance by giving their time, treasure, and talent to their church and related ministries.

But for those with a secular worldview, they don’t turn to faith to find purpose and meaning.

They turn to government.

For many on the left, government is their church.

It provides community, significance, and something to believe in that can make things better. So they give their time, treasure, and talent to the cause.

That is why, in a deep red town like Colville, WA, the school board is thinking about letting boys into the girls bathroom at school if they’re feeling feminine. This letter from the Alliance Defending Freedom does a good job explaining not only that the law does not require local school districts to make restrooms genderless but that courts have long recognized that people have the right to privacy in a bathroom.

Christian conservatives understand that government is powerless to solve the world’s biggest problems because the world’s biggest problems are not around us but in us.

But as we have seen in Colville, when we neglect entire sectors of the culture because we are busy doing other good things, there can be consequences.

If you’re frustrated with outcomes like this, maybe you’re the solution to the problem.

If you’re in Colville, you should go to the school board meeting tonight and make sure your voice is heard.

If you aren’t in Colville, maybe you should run for school board. If you don’t, someone else will. And then you just might find your daughter sharing a bathroom with a boy.