Wednesday, January 20, 2016
Olympia: Going To The Bathroom
December 26---the day after Christmas---when not a creature was stirring, the WA State Human Rights Commission quietly adopted a set of new bathroom policies that make it illegal for business owners to limit sex-specific bathroom facilities to persons with the anatomical parts of one sex.
And this day-after-Christmas special dictates that schools "allow students to use the restroom that is consistent with their gender identity."
When Rep. Graham Hunt (R-Orting) awoke and heard the clatter, he said, "I'm not into conspiracy stuff...but it's been done in quasi-private."
The State Legislature is now back in session---and the "quasi-private bathroom bill" is quasi-private no more.
And Rep. Hunt, Sen. Doug Ericksen and others are turning on the light exposing the bathroom bill for what it is---insanity.
The rules that were quietly adopted by the Washington State Human Rights Commission are thought to be a first of a kind imposition on the 99% who are not confused about their gender.
The policies are at the direct expense of most others' privacy and comfort.
It mandates businesses with 8 or more employees and all public schools in the state.
Jill Wade from Spanaway, a mother of 2, says, "Nobody had any idea that public meetings were going on because they weren't on their site."
Wade says, "People don't understand the magnitude of the rules that they're making." She is heading up a group that is informing the public regarding this policy change. She believes as people become aware they will speak up and resist the nonsense.
There is an awakening in Olympia and across the state.
But will it matter?
State Senator Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) says he is introducing a simple one-paragraph proposal that would immediately repeal the rules drawn up by the Human Rights Commission. His proposal would also ban the agency from "initiating" any further rules regarding transgender individuals' use of sex-segregated facilities.
His bill would leave the decisions to individuals in local businesses, schools and communities.
What a concept.
Ericksen says, "There is broad based support to repeal this rule and it transcends political ideology, makeup, identification---People can read it in 30 seconds, and we can correct a grave overstep by a government agency."
Rep. Graham Hunt (R- Orting) wants to go even farther in correcting what he also considers a "grave overstep by a government agency."
Hunt has introduced a bill that bans transgender individuals from using bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, or saunas if such individuals are "preoperative, non-operative or otherwise [have] genitalia of a different gender from that for which the facility is segregated."
Can you believe that the state---Washington State---that has given the world the airplane industry as we know it, Microsoft, Amazon, Costco, the $5 cup of coffee, the world's best apples and thousands of other innovative enterprises is embroiled in a debate about who can use which bathroom?
It should be an easy fix. Right?
Hunt introduced the bill last week and found immediate resistance from Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, through which the bill must pass before it can be discussed.
Jinkins is a lesbian Democrat from Tacoma and is blocking the measure from coming to a committee vote, refusing to even allow a public hearing.
The reason, she says, is because a public hearing would be "offensive to the transgender community."
Does she not think this whole episode is not offensive to the 99.5% who know their gender?
Hunt is asking what better place is there than the legislature---the people's house---to have an open discussion?
So far all the Democrats have lined up behind Jinkins on the issue.
Hunt says absent an influx of calls into Jinkins' office from concerned citizens, this bill will likely not have a chance in this legislative session, although Jinkins has said she hopes she and Hunt can find some "middle ground."
Hunt doesn't expect any "middle ground" during this 60 day session.
Maybe next year.
"Or," the good public servant says, "we can make the change with our vote."
"And if you don't vote," he says, "you're not going to have a change."
"That's what representatives are ultimately accountable to...the vote," he says.
And speaking of the "vote."
Reflecting on the 2012 vote that reelected Barack Obama, Gov. Mike Huckabee told an audience, "Social conservatives are not in trouble because of the actions of government, they are in trouble because social conservatives are not speaking out and are not voting in large numbers."
He estimated that there are probably about 100 million social conservatives in the United States. Using just the example of Evangelicals, he said there are about 80 million, but only half of them are registered to vote, and of those who are registered, only about 20 million actually vote in a presidential year.
He said, "An even smaller number, about 10 million, vote in midterm elections and an even smaller number vote in the primary elections that ultimately decides who will be voted on in the general elections."
"What would happen," Huckabee asked, "if, instead of half of them voting, 75% of them voted? If 10% more Evangelicals had voted in the last presidential election...?"
The answer is, of course, Mitt Romney would be president.
But that was then, as they say, and this is now.
Christian pollster George Barna consistently finds that 90% of pastors believe that the Bible speaks to the important issues of the day, but only 10% of pastors say they preach and teach on what the Bible says about the important issues of the day.
What if the important issues of the day became important to pastors?
National spiritual and cultural restoration.
What if most Evangelicals voted biblical values and principles?
Be Involved. Be Pro-Active. Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.