OLYMPIA, Wash. – Supporters and opponents protested at the Washington state capitol Monday over a new rule allowing transgendered people to use the bathroom of the gender with which they identify.
The Washington Human Rights Commission ruled in December buildings that are open to the public must allow transgender people to use restrooms and locker rooms of the gender they identify with.
The opponents are gathered to promote what they call "Safe Spaces for Women and Children." Their goal is to share, what they say, are stories of sexual assault.
"I think it's completely outrageous to allow mixed sex nudity in locker rooms," said Jill Wade of Spanaway.
Another woman, who said she was a victim of sexual assault, said predators could use the law as a loophole.
"We're not here saying that the transgendered community are predators," she said. "We will never say that because we don't believe that. What we do believe is that this code is so poorly written that predators will abuse. We know it because we have lived it."
Supporters of the rule counter-protested, holding signs that included "No peeping. Just peeing."
"If someone is going to be voyeuristic or is going to hurt someone, that is still illegal and they are still going to be arrested," said Ari LaTourette, who supports the new rule.
Last week, Senate Bill 6443 which would require the commission to repeal the new rule, was narrowly defeated in the state Senate.
A similar version will not pass out of the House. Judicial Committee Chair Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Pierce County, said the bill will not get a hearing in her committee.