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Washington Senators Fail at Attempt to Repeal Trans Bathroom Protections

Good riddance to rubbish bills.


Apparently Washington’s “Genital Check” bill wasn’t the only bill related to trans people’s bathroom usage going through the Washington Senate. SB 6443, which would have repealed the explicit protections for transgender people, was narrowly defeated last Wednesday at a vote of 24-25.

SB 6443, a three-sentence bill, calls for a repeal of the protections spelled out in Washington’s Human Rights Commission laws. Specifically, it calls for the repeal of section WAC 162-32-060, which allows people to use facilities that are in line with their gender identity. Furthermore, it calls for banning the Human Rights Commission from “initiating any rule-making procedure that involves the subject of gender-segregated facilities,” which would–you guessed it–stop them from establishing protections like this ever again.

According to The Stranger, the bill was struck down thanks to the votes of a few moderate Republicans: Senators Andy Hill, Steve Litzow, and Joe Fain. In a Republican-controlled Senate, you might be able to grasp how surprising this turn of events really is. Even more surprising than that is the fact that a Democratic Senator–Jim Hargrove–spoke out in support of the bill. What the hell?

The striking down of SB 6443 is but one step towards countering the anti-trans backlash. SB 6548–the “Genital Check” bill–is still being judged for whether it’s worthy of a second reading or not. It’s important to keep in mind that the “Genital Check” bill doesn’t explicitly call for genital checks, as I mentioned in the earlier post. It all but spells out their requirement, however, lest a facility operator wish to resort to profiling, which is its own massive can of worms.

Still, it’s heartening to see this step in the right direction. Keep it up!

(image via Shutterstock/sasipixel)

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (, and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters ( She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.