Sen. Marko Liias, D-Lynnwood, released this statement today regarding the attempt by Senate Republicans to pass of legislation to remove protections for transgender men, women and children in Washington state. You can watch his floor speech on this issue here.

“Washington has long had one the strongest civil rights laws in the nation, and today the Senate reaffirmed our law and the fundamental rights of all our people.

“For 10 years, transgender people have been using the bathroom that matches their identity, without incident. We need not fear transgender children, women and men. They deserve the same basic rights as everyone else.

A national survey of transgender people found that 41 percent have attempted suicide and over 60 percent report being victims of physical or sexual assault. In Washington, 60 percent of those surveyed reported being verbally harassed or disrespected in a place of public accommodation.

“Transgender people aren’t some nameless, faceless group. They are our friends and neighbors, our children and our parents. They face tremendous challenges fitting into our society, and we should work to welcome them—not exclude them.

“While I was relieved to see the bill fail, I am sobered to see it rejected by only a single vote and appalled that it would even reach the floor for a vote. This was a sad day for the Senate and for our state.”