Court decision on transgender bathroom access could put state ballot-measure proposal in spotlight

On Monday, the United States Supreme Court decided not to hear a case over a transgender person’s access to public bathrooms. Some say that decision could elevate the battle over the issue in Washington state.

OLYMPIA — With the nation’s top court sidestepping the issue of transgender people’s access to public bathrooms, Washington state may find itself in the spotlight in this year’s debate over the issue.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear the case of Gavin Grimm, a transgender Virginia high-school student who sued to be able to use the school’s boys’ bathroom.

The move comes not long after President Donald Trump canceled guidelines by the Obama administration intended to protect transgender students.

The actions could raise the profile of a proposed Washington ballot initiative for this November, I-1552, that would roll back a state rule allowing open locker rooms and bathrooms.

“Washington State is now the 2017 battleground for transgender nondiscrimination protections,” Seth Kirby, chair of Washington Won’t Discriminate, a group opposing proposed Initiative 1552, said in a statement. “All eyes will be on us as we decide whether we will hold true to our state’s values of fairness, equality and freedom, or fall prey to scare tactics and fear mongering.”

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