CommunityPam's House Blend

Victory in Washington State — by one vote!

The state’s senate passes gay rights bill that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, lending and employment. I’m sure Ken Hutcherson is about ready to blow his stack. Gov. Christine Gregoire is ready to sign the bill. (Seattle PI):

Rep. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, has championed the legislation for a decade. The openly gay legislator, who waited in the wings for the vote, embraced his partner as the clerk read the vote count.

“I’m very happy,” Murray said. “It’s a moment of joy.” Democrats said the bill was about preventing discrimination. A tearful Majority Leader Sen. Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, uncorked champagne in her office to celebrate the occasion.

The rights of the minority must always be protected,” said Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-Tacoma. But polarized views on homosexuality drove emotional debate that was almost identical to that which preceded the vote last year — when the bill failed by one vote. Sen. Bill Finkbeiner, R-Kirkland, reversed his previous position to turn the tide this year. “This has been a terribly difficult issue for me,” said Finkbeiner as he explained his change of heart. “What we are really talking about here is…whether or not it’s OK to be gay or homosexual in this state. On whether or not it’s appropriate to be discriminating against or to discriminate against someone because of that.”

…The rest of the Republicans argued that it promoted immoral behavior, undermined religious freedom and could be seen as Legislative endorsement of gay marriage.

Sen. Bob Oke, R- Port Orchard, said his daughter is a lesbian. He said though the issue has been a long-standing point of conflict in his family but he held his position on the issue and voted against the bill. “That’s called tough love,” Oke said. “I believe homosexuality is morally wrong,” Oke said. “The Bible is very clear on this.”

What kind of father is Oke? Good lord.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding