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Washington transgender bathroom initiative fails to gather enough signatures

The campaign for a Washington transgender bathroom initiative has failed to gather enough signatures and will not likely be on the November ballot.

Related: I-1515 chairmen says people have lost their sense of humor

According to Secretary of State Kim Wyman’s office, the Just Want Privacy group — which has promoted I-1515 — has canceled its Friday appointment with state officials. The group would have turned in its signatures at that meeting.

According to the secretary of state’s office, Campaign Chief Joseph Backholm informed the office Thursday that the campaign did not gather enough signatures. The initiative aimed to undo a state rule that allowed transgender individuals to use bathrooms and other facilities for the gender they identify with.

As of Thursday night, the Just Want Privacy website stated it only obtained 181,278 signatures — 118,722 short of its goal.

There is a 246,000-signature minimum for signatures — the state recommends getting 325,000 to account for duplicate and invalid signatures. At around noon Thursday, the Just Want Privacy Campaign posted a call for help to gather more signatures, and had not yet mention any failure to gather enough.

Critics of I-1515 have accused the campaign of playing on people’s unnecessary fears and anxieties. One such critic was Washington Won’t Discriminate, which responded to the news Thursday:

“Washingtonians have sent a clear message – we won’t discriminate,” said Seth Kirby, Chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, the No on I-1515 campaign. “As a transgender man, I’m encouraged that voters didn’t buy the pitch that repealing our state’s non-discrimination protections for transgender people would somehow make everyone safer. Washingtonians value fairness and equality and we believe that everyone in our state should be able to earn a living, frequent a business, earn an education, and raise a family free from the fear of discrimination.”


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