EDITORIAL | Decline to sign, say no to Initiative 1552

It takes just a few seconds to sign your name.

You probably do it at least once every few days.

You sign a rent check.

You sign a receipt after a meal at a restaurant.

You sign the end of a letter to a friend.

But there are some instances when you should keep a cap on your pen, and save that signature for another day.

That brings us to Initiative 1552.

Don’t sign I-1552.

Backers of the Just Want Privacy campaign would have you believe that their efforts are merely meant as a safety measure, designed to protect women and children from instances of indecent exposure, voyeurism, and sexual assault in public restrooms.

How do they suggest we do this? By rolling back a 2015 ruling that allows transgender men and women to use facilities that align with their gender identity through the extension of anti-discrimination protections.

This is flimsy logic.

Contrary to the claims of supporters that “little girls” are now forced to share gym showers with adult males, there is no law or ruling that gives men pretending to be women the freedom to enter gender-segregated spaces like locker rooms. Meanwhile, actual laws against indecent exposure, voyeurism, and sexual assault remain on the books. Prosecuting those offenders should be the focus of safety efforts. Needlessly stigmatizing the transgender population should not. 

For that matter, making members of the transgender community the target for discrimination protects no one, while putting a marginalized group at further risk of bullying, harassment, and even violence.

Opponents of I-1552 note that managers could essentially force out transgender employees and discourage transgender job applicants by restricting employee locker rooms and restrooms under this measure as well. Sadly, they’re right. Schools would also be caught in the fray, with students enabled to sue their schools for a $5,000 minimum if they encounter someone using a facility that does not align with their birth sex. This would put an onus on schools to ensure that transgender students not use the facilities consistent with their gender identity because of the potential financial and legal ramifications.

Once more, those that “just want privacy” are advocating for a measure that would provide anything but if fully enforced. We can imagine few things more intrusive than someone standing guard at a bathroom door demanding proof that they’re using the facility that matches the sex on their birth certificate. So much for privacy.

Frankly, we can find no good reason for you to waste your personal seal of approval, your signature, on this pointless yet harmful measure.

Reject fear. Reject discrimination.

Decline to sign.