-Sen. Kevin Ranker
Yesterday, nearly half of the caucus that promised not to pursue so-called social issues introduced legislation that would sanction discrimination by businesses against gay and lesbian customers.
Under Senate Bill 5927, if you own a business in our state and don’t like gay people because of religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or just because you don’t, you will no longer have to provide services or sell your goods to any gay people.
How’s that for progress?
This of course all stems from the case of a florist in Richland who decided to not provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. Providing legal protection for this kind of bigotry takes us back to the days before Martin Luther King Jr., and attempts to reopen an issue that has been settled history in this country for decades.
So here we are, literally hours away from what was supposed to be the end of the 2013 legislative session. We haven’t passed an operating budget, a capital budget or a transportation budget. We’ve seen bills that would have helped curtail gun violence, give women control over their reproductive choices, and help aspiring citizens go to college all blocked from ever receiving a vote.
With time running short, rather than working on getting out of Olympia on time and saving taxpayers the burden of a costly special session, what do Washingtonians get?
They get a bill that makes it OK to hate again.