In the last hours of the 2013 session, Senate Republicans are continuing to wage a war on equality. Ian Cope reports. (TRT: 56 sec) CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
The title of Senate Bill 5927 describes it as the “right to engage in commerce free from discrimination.” A closer look at the bill reveals that it’s really about allowing discrimination. Under the bill, sponsored by 11 Republicans, business owners who disagree with homosexuality for a wide range of reasons can refuse to provide service to gay or lesbian couples.
Sen. Ranker (TRT: 10 sec) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “It says that they can deny service based on religious beliefs, their personal beliefs, their philosophical beliefs, or just because they don’t like you. That is unacceptable and it’s un-American.”
Orcas Island Sen. Kevin Ranker says the bill’s roots may come from a Tri-Cities florist who is being sued for refusing to serve a longtime customer who is gay, but its effects go far deeper.
Sen. Ranker (TRT: 8 sec) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD: “This goes back to Rosa Parks. This undermines the most basic civil rights of this country and this state and it’s unacceptable.”
With the regular session set to adjourn on Sunday, the bill’s future is unclear, but theoretically it could be brought before committee if the Legislature goes to special session.