The Nation and State's Leading LGBTQ Civil Rights Organizations Cite Inslee's Strong Record Fighting on Behalf of Equality
Republican Bill Bryant Supports North-Carolina-Style LGBTQ Discrimination Laws "That Would Take Us Backwards as a State"
Seattle - Today, the Human Rights Campaign, Equal Rights Washington, and the Seattle Metropolitan Elections Committee, the nation and state's leading LGBTQ civil rights organizations, endorsed Governor Jay Inslee, citing his strong record fighting on behalf of equality.
Governor Inslee supported marriage equality in his campaign for governor in 2012. As governor, he launched an initiative to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices throughout state government and opposed efforts here in Washington and across the country to discriminate against the LGBTQ community.
"Governor Jay Inslee has been our champion in Washington state fighting for equality," said JoDee Winterhof, Senior Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs, Human Rights Campaign. "He has stood up when others wouldn't, whether it be for marriage equality in Washington, or against discriminatory policies enacted in other states. We can depend on Governor Inslee to continue fighting and advocating for equal rights for all of the LGBTQ community in Washington state."
Earlier this year, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant announced his support for a LGBTQ discrimination law similar to HB2 passed in North Carolina earlier this year. These laws are not just wrong, but have led to sporting events and other economic opportunities fleeing the state.
"Governor Jay Inslee has been a national leader in the fight for equality for the LGBTQ community, and he's the only candidate in this race we can rely on to protect our hard-fought gains of the last decade," said Monisha Harrell, Equal Rights Washington. "Republican Bill Bryant supports weakening our state's landmark LGBTQ anti-discrimination law that would take us backwards as a state. Washington voters who support full equality for the LGBTQ community must vote for Jay Inslee this year."
"Thank you Human Rights Campaign, Equal Rights Washington, and SEAMEC for supporting my campaign," said Governor Jay Inslee. "Discrimination against our LGBTQ friends and family is just plain wrong, and has no place in our laws. I vow to continue to do all I can to be advocate for equal rights, and stop those in their tracks who wish to take away the rights we've fought for in Washington."
Bryant Opposed Human Rights Commission’s Rule Protecting The Right Of Transgender People To Use Bathrooms Consistent With Their Gender Identities. In January 2016, the Family Policy Institute reported that Bryant opposed the “bathroom rule” passed by the Washington State Human Rights Commission. “Bryant suggested that it would be appropriate for the Governor to set the rule aside for 24 or 48 months so that the legislature can address it.” [Family Policy Institute, 1/08/16]
Bryant: Human Rights Commission Has Favored Rights Of One Group Over Another. In January 2015, appearing on KGMI radio, Bryant said that the Human Rights Commission has “picked the rights of one group and said, “This group is more important than the rights of that group.” [Todd Herman Show, 1/20/16]
Bryant Said The State Legislature’s Vote Against Overturning The Human Rights Commission Rule Was “Probably Not The Decision I Would Have Made.” In March 2016, appearing on KIRO radio, asked about the state legislature’s vote against overturning the Human Rights Commission rule protecting the right of transgender people to use the bathrooms consistent with their gender identities, Bryant said, “It’s probably not the decision I would have made, but it’s a decision that was made by a democratically elected government body. So it’s the decision.” [KIRO Radio,3/9/16]
Gov. Inslee Launched Initiative To Promote LGBTQ Inclusion Practices Throughout State Government
Gov. Inslee Launched Safe Place WA; Initiative To Promote LGBTQ Inclusion Practices Throughout State Government. According to a June 2016 news release issued by the Office of the Governor, “Gov. Jay Inslee today issued a directive launching a Safe Place WA initiative to promote LGBTQ inclusion practices and policies throughout state government… Inslee’s directive establishes a Safe Place WA program and a state employee resource group to develop and share best practices for creating safe and inclusive environments in state government offices, for both employees and the customers they serve.” [Office of Gov. Jay Inslee, 6/23/16]
Gov. Inslee: “Every Person In The State Of Washington Has The Right To Feel Safe, Enjoy The Benefits Of Public Services And Fully Participate In Civic Life.” According to a June 2016 news release issued by the Office of the Governor announcing the launch of Safe Place WA, Gov. Inslee said in the directive “We traditionally celebrate June as LGBTQ Pride Month. I believe that as public leaders and servants, though, our commitment to diversity and inclusion extends beyond a single month of recognition…Every person in the state of Washington has the right to feel safe, enjoy the benefits of public services and fully participate in civic life.” [Office of Gov. Jay Inslee, 6/23/16]
Gov. Inslee Supported Requiring That Public Accommodations Be Based On Gender Identity.
Gov. Inslee Supported State Rule Requiring That Public Accommodations Be Based On Gender Identity. In December 2015, The Washington Times reported, “A legislative battle over transgender restroom access is brewing in Washington after a state commission enacted rules requiring that bathroom, shower and locker room use in public accommodations be based on ‘gender identity,’ not sex…The commission took action after an eight-month dispute over transgender access at the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap counties, which at first allowed and then prohibited opposite-sex use of bathrooms, showers and locker rooms. In a Dec. 15 statement, YMCA President and CEO Bob Ecklund said the organization planned to be in compliance with revisions to the Washington Administrative Code effective Dec. 26. ‘As this relates to our restrooms and locker room procedures, we will not discriminate based on gender identity effective December 21,’ Mr. Ecklund said… Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, came out in support last week of the YMCA’s decision to allow transgender access, telling the Kitsap Sun, ‘We cannot keep perpetuating the stereotype that transgender people pose a threat to our communities.’” [The Washington Times, 12/31/15]
Gov. Inslee Opposed Republican Efforts To Roll Back Anti-Discrimination Laws
Gov. Inslee Opposed Republican Efforts To Roll Back Washington State’s Anti-Discrimination Laws. In February 2016, Buzzfeed reported, “Similar to legislation across the U.S., six anti-transgender bills filed in the Washington State Legislature this year have alarmed LGBT activists who worry the state could roll back parts of a law banning discrimination. Officials in Olympia, however, told BuzzFeed News that none of the Republican-backed bills has a realistic shot at passing. Leaders of the Democratically controlled House intend to block the bills from getting a hearing or committee vote. And Gov. Jay Inslee, who could veto the bills, is openly hostile to the legislation.” [Buzzfeed, 2/5/16]
Gov. Inslee Opposed Discriminatory Initiative To Ban Transgender Community From Using the Bathroom of their Gender Identity
Gov. Inslee Said I-1515 “Must Be Defeated.” In July 2016, The News Tribune reported, “Restricting which bathrooms transgender people can use might seem like an unexpected ballot question, but get ready to hear a lot more about it…The measure [I-1515] would allow public and private-sector segregation of bathrooms and locker rooms by birth gender or biology. It would also prevent local governments from enacting laws that protect gender identity as a valid reason for a bathroom choice…Gov. Jay Inslee said the initiative ‘must be defeated.’ [The Olympian, 7/1/16]
Gov. Inslee Banned Non-Essential Travel To State’s That Passed Discriminatory Laws
Gov. Inslee Banned State-Paid Travel To Indiana After The State Passed Law Allowing Businesses To Refuse Service To Gays & Lesbians. In March 2015, The Seattle Times reported, “Washington Gov. Jay Inslee plans to issue an executive order banning state-paid travel to Indiana, joining a growing wave of protest against that state’s new law allowing businesses to refuse service to gays and lesbians for religious reasons. ‘We in Washington stand for equality,’ Inslee, a Democrat, said in a statement Monday evening.” [The Seattle Times, 3/30/15]
Gov. Inslee Banned Non-Essential State Travel To North Carolina After The State Passed A Law That Discriminated Against Transgender Students & Struck Down Other Protections. In March 2016, The Olympian reported, “Gov. Jay Inslee announced Tuesday he is banning non-essential state travel to North Carolina, citing the state’s new law that prohibits schools from letting transgender students use restrooms that match their gender identity. Inslee said the law, which also strikes down locally enacted protections for gay, lesbians and transgender people, isn’t in line with the values of Washington state.” [The Olympian, 3/29/16]
Gov. Inslee Banned Non-Essential State Travel To Mississippi After The State Passed A Law Allowing Businesses To Refuse Service To Gays & Lesbians; Allowed Officials To Refuse To Issue Marriage Licenses. In April 2016, The Olympian reported, “Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday banned most state-funded travel to Mississippi, objecting to the Southern state’s new law that allows business owners and government employees to refuse service to gay people…The Mississippi law, which Gov. Phil Bryant signed Tuesday, lets government officials refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform marriage ceremonies if doing so would violate their religious beliefs. It also allows businesses and faith-based institutions to deny services to gay, lesbian and transgender individuals on religious grounds.” [The Olympian, 4/6/16]