Ericksen blasts poorly-advertised commission hearing on men-in-women’s-showers rule

— Human Rights Commission schedules oddly-timed Thursday-night hearing on issue
— Petitioners seek to repeal rule opening bathrooms, showers to all
— Inconvenient, poorly publicized hearing makes letters, emails important

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale.

OLYMPIA – State Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, says the state Human Rights Commission is holding another poorly-publicized, oddly-timed public meeting to discuss its rule allowing men to use women’s showers – and he wants the state to know about it.

The commission plans to hear public testimony on petitions to overturn its rule during a meeting 5:30 tonight at the Seattle City Council chamber, 600 4th Avenue, Seattle.

“This poorly-advertised meeting is part of a clear pattern by this agency of hiding its actions from the public and making decisions in the dark,” Ericksen said. “Not even the people who filed the petitions were notified that the meeting was taking place. The commission adopted this rule with virtually no public notice the day after Christmas, and the thousands of calls and letters we received in the Legislature show us the people of this state are furious.”

The commission’s rule allows showers, bathrooms and other sex-segregated facilities to be used by members of the opposite sex when they claim to be transgendered.

Under the commission’s rule, however, there is no requirement that persons making such a claim actually be undergoing a program of medical treatment to change sex. The commission maintained it was implementing a 2006 law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation; however the law made no mention of bathrooms and showers.

Ericksen sponsored legislation during the current legislative session to overturn the commission rule. He urges citizens to submit comments to the commission by email at llindstrand@hum.wa.gov, or by mail at:

Washington State Human Rights Commission
Ms. Laura Lindstrand
711 South Capitol Way, Suite 402
P.O. Box 42490
Olympia, WA 98504-2490