Sunday, June 25, 2017

I Have Always Been Against Ballot Initiatives

Human Rights should never be put to a vote.

There are certain basic human rights that are called out in the Bill of Rights and since that time we have come to recognize that there more inalienable rights such as the rights of women to vote and own property.

When women’s suffrage right were voted in a ballot referendum it only passed a couple of the states while the majority of states the ballot went against women’s rights.

Three states will have a question on the ballot that asks if we should be able to use a public bathroom.
Ballot Initiative to Strip Away Trans Rights Still on Track to be Voted on in 2018
Rainbow Times
By Jenna Spinelle
June 1, 2017

BOSTON—Throughout Pride Week celebrations this year, you may hear one word come over and over again: referendum.

Less than a year after it was signed into law, legislation in Massachusetts providing transgender people equal access to public spaces will be the subject of a question on the Commonwealth’s November 2018 ballot. Voters statewide will need to affirm or deny support for the measure after a request to overturn it received the signatures necessary to add a referendum.

At a time when the political landscape seems to change daily and news comes and goes in an instant, spreading and maintaining awareness about this issue between now and next fall are priorities for local advocates of trans rights.
“We are absolutely confident that voters will want to uphold fairness for their neighbors,” Suffredini said. “All this question does is essentially repeal the statute that legislature passed.”

Suffredini said the effort to overturn the law is part of a larger campaign to curb rights for LGBTQ people across the country. Similar efforts are underway in Montana and Washington state.
Let’s hope that Massachusetts get to cocky over their belief that they will win.

Meanwhile, in Washington State their ballot initiative is on a bumpy path and is being challenged,
Petitions for Reversing Transgender Bathroom Law Flawed, Group Claims
The Chronicle
By Joseph O’Sullivan / The Seattle Times
June 23, 2017

OLYMPIA — A letter to Secretary of State Kim Wyman claims that signature gatherers for the initiative to roll back Washington state’s transgender bathroom rules are using flawed petitions.

The letter, dated Friday, comes from three organizations, including Washington Won’t Discriminate, a group formed to oppose Initiative 1552.

I-1552 would reverse a 2015 rule guaranteeing people access to areas like bathrooms and locker rooms according to the gender with which they live — as opposed to the gender with which they were born.

The organization pushing for the initiative, Just Want Privacy, has argued the rule would act as a shield for sexual predators to enter spaces like bathrooms and potentially harm women and children — though such action is already unlawful.

Just Want Privacy faces a July 7 deadline to turn in about 260,000 petition signatures to get I-1552 on the ballot.
The letter to Wyman claims that some of I-1552’s petitions violate state law by containing typos and missing or changed words. In one of those examples, the letter claims that I-1552’s ballot title on the petitions is different from the one approved by the courts.

“Because the Washington Constitution requires the full text of a measure to appear on all petition sheets, we would expect the Secretary of State will not accept any petitions for I-1552 that fail to comply with this constitutional requirement,” reads the letter. “In addition, we would expect that the Secretary of State will not accept petitions that misrepresent the ballot title and/or the ballot measure summary of I-1552.”

“These requirements are important measures to prevent fraud and mistake in the gathering of signatures in support of initiatives and should be applied scrupulously,” the letter adds.
So we will have to wait to see what the Secretary of State will do.

Then up in Montana they also have a ballot initiative on where we can pee.
Initiative would limit transgender bathroom usePost Register
By Bobby Caina Calvan
Posted: June 22, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A conservative group wants to let Montana voters decide whether transgender people must use public restrooms and locker rooms designated for their gender at birth — a move that could thrust the state into the national debate over transgender rights.

The Montana Family Foundation launched its campaign to place the matter on next year’s fall ballot after lawmakers declined to do so.

If approved by voters, the measure would affect how public schools, universities and other government agencies accommodate transgender people. Facilities designated for use by one sex would have to exclude the opposite sex.
There is some opposition to the bill,
The governor’s office previously expressed concern about the measure in part because of its potential impact to the economy.

Spokeswoman Ronja Abel said the fiscal analysis would be limited to the actual cost to the state budget. Legislative analysts say it would cost $1.9 million to implement the proposal, if passed by voters.

“The initiative would be bad for Montana families, businesses and our economy,” Abel said.
Once again, everyone should have the right to be treated equally in employment, housing and public accommodations and whom they love. Ballot question should never be used to take away a person’s human rights.

In 2008 the United Nation issued a Declaration on sexual orientation and gender identity, 66 nations including the United States, signed the Declaration recognizing as Human Rights a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity.

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