By Autumn Sandeen
Do you want to know what Just Want Privacy‘s talking points are? The talking points that the organization gives out to their spokespeople who support of their “repeal the rule” initiative on transgender public accommodations? The things they tell them not to say?
Just Want Privacy is the group who wants to repeal the public accommodation antidiscrimination protections based on gender identity in Washington by a statewide initiative.
One thing they tell their spokespeople NOT to say about the rule:
Avoid ideological debates about transgenderism. This issue is not about transgender people. It is about safety and privacy for ALL.
Well, the rest of the talking points are here, straight from a link in there their email blast from the week of April 11, 2016.
- The Just Want Privacy Initiative does not require anyone to use the “wrong” bathroom. It simply gives businesses the freedom to decide for themselves what options best serve their customers, and it protects children from premature exposure to opposite sex anatomy.
- Every child has a right to privacy and safety. WAC 16232 requires schools, daycares, and camps to adopt policies that sacrifice that right. Children are now prematurely exposed to opposite sex genitalia without the consent of their parents.
- When it comes to locker rooms and showers, an invasion of privacy is an injury. Survivors of sexual assault, in particular, deserve protection from such invasions. This is not just about the bathroom. It also affects the functionality of hundreds of locker rooms throughout the state.
- Every Washingtonian deserves to feel safe. The WAC places the comfort of one group of people over the safety and privacy of everyone else.
- WAC 16232 creates liabilities for businesses when they intervene to protect the safety and privacy of their customers.
- The concern related to the rule is not that transgendered people are predators. The concern is that the subjective nature and ambiguous language of the rule creates opportunities for those who are.
- Everyone should be kept safe from predators, but the WAC makes provisions in Washington’s Indecent Exposure and voyeurism laws impossible to enforce.
- Free speech is a Constitutional right. The HRC’s Rule restricts free speech and sets dangerous precedents by penalizing reasonable inquiries.
- The people of Washington deserve to know what their government is doing. The WAC, which governs 7 million people was passed by unelected bureaucrats with public input from a grand total of 46 people.
Things to Avoid Saying
- Avoid ideological debates about transgenderism. This issue is not about transgender people. It is about safety and privacy for ALL.
- Avoid inflammatory political jargon that insults people who may otherwise agree with you on this issue. This is not a uniquely conservative or liberal topic. Many people from both sides of the aisle oppose the regulation. Play nice.
- Try to avoid using statistics and numbers unless you have concrete proof of their veracity.
- Avoid referring to WAC 16232 as “the bathroom rule.” Utilize every opportunity possible to remind people that this transcends bathrooms. It’s about the hundreds of locker rooms and showering areas in the state, as well.
Beyond this, they have a list of the Top Five Reasons To Repeal The Rule as alternate talking points.
- It’s Discriminatory. In an attempt to include 3/10 of one percent of the population, the regulation has effectively discriminated against the majority, alienating people of every major faith tradition, sexual assault survivors, and many others.
- It’s Dangerous. Based on subjective standards, this is the Swiss Cheese of all regulations, containing multiple loopholes for predators to exploit and zero safeguards to penalize them when they do.
- Locker Rooms. While proponents of the rule would have you believe this is just about peeing in peace, they fail to acknowledge the reality that this opens the state’s thousands of locker room doors to mixed-sex nudity.
- It Penalizes Free Speech. Section 16232040 prohibits not only “unwelcome questions related to gender identity, but also the intentional “misgendering” of someone. So now if you’re unsure about someone’s expressed gender identity, you’re not allowed to ask for clarification, and you’re in trouble if you get it wrong.
- It Doesn’t Represent the People. The Human Rights Commission circumnavigated both the people and the legislators who represent them. They made a rule with dramatic implications for the 7 million residents of Washington after including only 46 of them in the conversation. We need a better option.
If you know this group’s talking points, you know much of the opposition’s talking points around the country. The talking points are going to be very similar — the opposition is nationally organized. And, you have to know what the opposition is thinking to even begin to adequately respond to it.