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LOS ANGELES – The conservative organization behind the failed ballot measure, “Privacy for All,” failed to submit the 365,880 valid signatures needed to the California Secretary of State’s office to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.
The so-called “Personal Privacy Protection Act” would have prohibited transgender people from using facilities in government buildings and requiring the government to monitor bathroom use. Supporters of similar efforts elsewhere fought ugly, divisive and deceitful campaigns that preyed on voters’ ignorance of what it means to be transgender.
“Having lost the battle for marriage equality and having failed to qualify a similar ballot initiative several years ago, anti-LGBT extremists have failed once again in their attempt to legislate discrimination,” said director of public policy and community building at the Los Angeles LGBT Center and former executive director of Affirmations, Dave Garcia. “I’m relieved they couldn’t get the relatively low number of signatures they needed, but even if they had, I’m confident we would have defeated this measure. No one should fear harassment, interrogation or a lawsuit simply for using the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity.”
To educate California voters about their transgender neighbors and to forestall similar, future efforts to target them at the ballot box, Equality California and the Transgender Law Center are leading a separate statewide public education campaign to combat widespread public misunderstanding about transgender and gender nonconforming people and the issues they face. The separate campaign includes other LGBT and civil rights organizations as well as groups serving communities of color and the faith community. The effort is independent of work on any political or legislative campaign and is aimed at creating understanding and acceptance of transgender Californians through research and education.
“All Californians – no matter their race, age, gender or sexual orientation – should have the same freedom to support their families and go about their lives without fear of discrimination,” said Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center. “This initiative was a poorly veiled attack on transgender people that sought to undermine that freedom and single out for harassment anyone who doesn’t meet stereotypes of what it looks like to be male or female. Today Californians have made clear these types of discriminatory attacks on transgender people and our families, communities and neighborhoods have no place in our state.”
The coalition against the ballot initiative consists of the American Civil Liberties Union of California, Equality California, the Human Rights Campaign, Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), and Transgender Law Center, as well as a steering committee of organizations representing diverse communities throughout California.