A headline in the Seattle PI this morning blares out that “Eyman, Churches Link Up – Initiative King seeks out evangelicals’ help to repeal gay-rights law”
The story behind the story is that the news media once again teams up with Eyman to support his business and right wing issues. Eyman’s picture and proclamation that he is some “Initiative King” is all part of the myth building that the media does to sell newspapers and get viewers and listeners.
I first heard the story yesterday on, of all places, KUOW. Google pulls up KIRO TV, KATU-Portland, and KEPR in the Tri-Cities as links.
A more truthful headline might read “Bigot Teams up with Right Wing Religious Fanatics in Effort to Repeal Law Banning Discrimination”
The measure in question is Referendum 65 filed by Tim Eyman. Below is the official ballot title and summary as listed on the Secretary of State’s website
Statement of Subject: The legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 2661 (ESHB 2661) concerning Washington human rights commission jurisdiction and discrimination law revisions [and voters have filed a sufficient referendum petition on this bill].
Concise description: ESHB 2661 would add “sexual orientation” to the state’s law against discrimination in employment, housing, credit, insurance, and certain contracts. “Sexual orientation” includes
heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality and gender expression, identity, appearance and behavior. Should this bill be: Approved [ ] Rejected[ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
ESHB 2661 amends the state’s law against discrimination to prohibit discrimination based on “sexual orientation” in employment, housing, credit, insurance, health maintenance contracts, public accommodations, and commercial boycotts or blacklists. “Sexual orientation” includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. State marriage laws are not modified, employment goals or quotas are not required, nor any specific belief, practice, behavior or orientation endorsed. Religious organizations and owner-occupied dwelling units are exempt from this law.
Click here to read the complete text of Referendum 65.
Referendum 65 is an attempt to overturn HB 2661 passed in the last session of the Legislature.The key to understanding this issue is simple – the law passed would “prohibit discrimination based on “sexual orientation” in employment, housing, credit, insurance, health maintenance contracts, public accommodations, and commercial boycotts or blacklists.”
Now what is confusing is what you must do if you support this ban on discrimination.
1. You must not sign Referendum 65 . Signing it would place it on the November ballot.
2 If Referendum 65 gets on the ballot you must vote to “approve” it. By voting to “approve” it, you will keep in place ESHB 2661 prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
This may seem confusing but Eyman and the right wing churches need signatures to place Referendum 65 on the ballot. Once on the ballot you must vote to “approve” Referendum 65 to keep ESHB 2661 state law.
For more information on the campaign opposing getting Referendum 65 on the ballot go to Washington Won’t Discriminate.
Referendums only need half the signatures initiatives do to qualify for the ballot. R-65 only needs some 112,440 valid signatures. The deadline is June 6th.
Remember it is perfectly within your rights to engage in public discussion with other citizens regarding Referendum 65. If someone is asking people to sign the referendum, you can ask them not to sign.
As in any other conversation do not harass, threaten or intimidate anyone, including the petitioner. You only hurt your cause and rightfully can be subject to laws regarding harassment. That is the last thing you want on this issue.
The petitioner is exercising his right to ask people to sign the measure. Respect that but you don’t have to give up your First Amendment right of free speech if you disagree with what they are saying.