Washington Leads Effort To Support Federal Transgender Guidelines

Jul 28, 2016

Washington state has formally joined the legal debate over transgender bathroom access.

State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a 'friend of the court' briefing Wednesday asking the federal government to uphold it's own guidelines over transgender rights.

That's after 11 other states, led by Texas, filed a lawsuit to try to block those guidelines in May.

A directive from the Obama Administration tells schools and employers to treat transgender people no differently than others, including when it comes to which bathroom they use.

The states opposed to the directive cite concerns about safety in bathrooms, and say it would cost schools to enforce it.

But in Ferguson's words, those concerns are unfounded. He says what IS real is discrimination.

"I view a central component of my job is to uphold the civil rights of all Washingtonians, and in my view the lawsuit is another unacceptable example of the discrimination that transgender individuals experience."

Ferguson says in Washington's fight against discrimination, the state hasn't racked up financial burdens or seen a rise in sexual violence, as the lawsuit contends.

12 states and Washington D.C. have signed Ferguson's friend of the court brief, including Oregon, California, and New York.

It was filed in U-S District Court in Texas Wednesday.

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