An effort to let Montana voters decide whether to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice has fallen short, according to The Associated Press.
The measure’s proponents gathered fewer than 10,000 signatures — far below the 25,000 signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, the AP reported on June 30.
LGBTQ activists said the failed effort represents a win for trans people.
“We are thrilled, although not surprised, to learn this harmful measure failed to qualify for the November ballot,” said Marina Connor, chairperson of the Free and Fair Coalition, a group of LGBTQ+ activists that worked to defeat the measure in a statement. “The work we have been engaged in for the last several months to organize our community and educate Montanans about this measure being inconsistent with our shared values has won the day."
If approved, the initiative, which was similar to North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill,” would have barred transgender people from using the locker rooms, changing rooms, restrooms and shower rooms aligned with their gender identity. It also would have allowed people to sue the government if they encountered someone of the “opposite sex” in a bathroom.
Alaska voters in April defeated a similar initiative.