Rep. Luanne Van Werven says new transgender restroom, locker room rule needs to be repealed
Rep. Luanne Van Werven is calling for the repeal of a recent rule put in place by the Washington State Human Rights Commission requiring public facilities and private businesses to open their bathroom doors to both men and women.
“I am appalled by the commission's decision, and constituents I am hearing from are outraged. They are concerned about privacy and public safety,” said Van Werven, R-Lynden. “Parents are very concerned about their children – whether it is a locker room or a bathroom at school. Making children, the elderly and the disabled share restrooms and showers with the opposite sex are invasions of privacy for the vulnerable who deserve to feel safe in intimate settings and when away from home.”
The ruling by the commission allows individuals the use of facilities such as restrooms and locker rooms “that are consistent with that individual's gender expression or gender identity” – meaning if a male identifies as a female, or vice versa, they are allowed to use the woman's rest room, locker room or dressing room.
Van Werven is also troubled by how the commission arrived at the decision.
“The commission made this decision without any input or oversight from the Legislature. In fact, it caught many lawmakers off-guard,” said Van Werven. “This is yet another example of the overreaching rule-making authority the state agencies and commissions have in Washington state. There needs to be some oversight or legislative approval of rules and regulations proposed or passed by our agencies.”
Van Werven plans to support legislation that would repeal the commission's ruling in the upcoming session.
The Legislature convenes on Monday, Jan. 11.
###Washington State House Republican Communications