WA Won’t Discriminate – Progress in a Difficult Time

You have heard us often share that each one of us deserves to have our lives and our humanity protected, respected, and valued. We all deserve to be able to live safely, openly, and genuinely. It is what drives our vision of equity and justice at Pride Foundation.

Waking up today, in a continued state of tragic and devastating violence, we are called to remember the lives lost to senseless shootings—five Dallas police officers last night, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile earlier this week, 49 LGBTQ Latinx people in Orlando last month.

We know it is also important to acknowledge the progress we are making and let that fuel us for the complex work we have ahead to get us closer to that vision—for everyone.

This is why I am writing this morning. After the grueling past several months we’ve spent with so many of you working to prevent Washington’s non-discrimination law from being chipped away, I wanted you to know that Initiative 1515 failed to qualify in Washington State for the November ballot.

This initiative would have repealed part of the state’s 10-year anti-discrimination law, and allowed businesses, schools, and the government to discriminate against transgender family members, neighbors, friends, and co-workers.

Instead, Washingtonians stood up against discrimination and secured this significant victory—for our state and our nation—ensuring that transgender people and their families will continue to be protected equally under the law.

To every single one of you who spoke out against I-1515 in your communities, who volunteered, who made a financial contribution, who helped defend our law with a robust “decline to sign” campaign—thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Your efforts made the difference. Today, we sit with an immense sense of gratitude and relief—as well sadness and pain borne from the complexity of the world we are living in.

Like every aspect of our lives and our work, our efforts to protect this vital piece of legislation are unfortunately not over. After taking time to intentionally pause and reflect, I ask that you prepare for the long road we know is still ahead to ensure that everyone in our communities is protected—in our laws, in our homes, in the workplace, in gathering places, in the classroom, and in our neighborhoods. This work has to go deep because achieving our vision of equity and justice requires addressing the racism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and misogyny that the violence and discrimination we’re experiencing is rooted in.

Thank you for recognizing and working toward this vision with us.

With appreciation and mixed emotions,

Kris and the Pride Foundation Staff and Board

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