Sen. Claire Wilson. COURTESY PHOTO, Washington State Legislature

Sen. Claire Wilson. COURTESY PHOTO, Washington State Legislature

House passes Wilson bill creating commission on LGBTQ inequities

  • Saturday, April 13, 2019 10:54am
  • News

Legislation passed late Friday by the House would establish a state commission to identify concerns specific to LGBTQ individuals and apply those concerns to inform practices and policies at state agencies.

“Many members of our community face an extreme and disproportionate risk of violence, discrimination and other challenges based merely on their identity,” said Sen. Claire Wilson, D-Auburn, the sponsor of Senate Bill 5356. “This action is needed to ensure that LGBTQ people receive the same consideration and protections against discrimination guaranteed all other Washingtonians under our state constitution.”

The legislation would create a state LGBTQ Commission whose membership, appointed by the governor, must provide for a balanced and diverse representation of race and ethnicity, geography, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and occupation.

Among other things, the commission would consult with state agencies about the effects of agency policies and practices on the unique problems and needs of LGBTQ people, and advise agencies on the development and implementation of comprehensive and coordinated policies, plans and programs to address those needs.

“There are times when our state policies, however well-intended, fail to account for members of our community whose needs may not be as obvious or universally shared,” Wilson said. “At other times, policies intended to help and serve a particular community end up doing the opposite. This commission will be a valuable resource to the public and to our state agencies that serve us.”

Acknowledging the skepticism of lawmakers who questioned the need for the commission, Wilson said their doubts illustrated the very need for the commission.

“If you’ve lived in a community with limited diversity, and your friends and acquaintances tend to look and talk like you, you may have no way of knowing the challenges and inequities faced by those outside your circle,” Wilson said. “This commission can make sure those challenges are known, understood, and addressed.”

Having been amended by the House, the bill now goes back to the Senate for reconsideration.

More in News

Join the Pacific and Algona Community Yard Sale

Spots open in Centennial Park for Saturday, Sunday, June 22-23

Pioneer Elementary School student wins national design contest

Joel Garcia Nunez, a second-grader at Pioneer Elementary School, was crowned the… Continue reading

Auburn Valley Humane Society partners with ASPCA to help behaviorally challenged shelter dogs

The Auburn Valley Humane Society on Friday announced its participation in the… Continue reading

Teens turn to library, board games to build bonds

Student-planned Teen Game Night, part of Dream Big: Anything is Possible youth empowerment campaign

Construction on R Street Southeast

Beginning Wednesday, June 19, through Thursday, June 27, construction work by Lakeside… Continue reading

Free Lake Tapps Incident Locators available

The Lake Tapps Incident Locator Program, first launched in 2014 by East… Continue reading

Auburn Parks prepares for KidsDay on June 25

Full day in the park includes games, rides, food, art and entertainment

Amateur Radio Field Day demonstrates ham radio’s ability to work reliably under any conditions from almost any location and create an independent communications network. COURTESY PHOTO
Amateur Radio Field Day on June 22-23 demonstrates science, skill and service

Members of the Auburn Area Emergency Communications Team (AAECT) participate in the… Continue reading

Auburn Police looking into two-vehicle crash; one person seriously injured

Auburn Police are investigating a serious injury collision that occurred Friday in… Continue reading

Most Read