Friday
February 17, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 07
 
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IN THEIR OWN WORDS: AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
ACLU of Washington

[Editor's Note: In Their Own Words is a new column, where individuals and community organizations will tell the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community what they will do to defeat Tim Eyman's anti-Gay referendum and initiative.]

The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington celebrated the passage of House Bill 2661, which banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing and other public opportunities. This historic event was not only a victory for justice and fairness, but also vindication of nearly 30 years of hard work with many like-minded organizations.

Unfortunately, the celebration was short and sweet - soon after the bill was signed into law, Tim Eyman announced a crusade to roll back the victory by putting the issue on a ballot.

Just as we worked hard to change to the law, we are now committed to preserve it against attacks based on prejudice and fear.

We are committed to this fight because we believe that everyone in the state must have the equal protection of the law. Allowing discrimination against a group of people in our society, simply because of their sexual orientation, is an attack on the principles of the Bill of Rights, principles that make our state and nation great. Such discrimination hurts thousands of people who don't have full access to opportunity. But it also hurts the entire state, by denying it the full contributions of talented workers, skilled professionals and loving families who can't live to their full potential.

Our commitment to this anti-discrimination law is only part of our work in the defense of civil liberties for all. The ACLU has a long history of defending the rights of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transgendered people and working to ensure the equal application of the law.

Just as when we helped found Equal Rights Washington, we will commit our resources to educate and inform the public about this issue. We will help mobilize our more than 20,000 members in Washington to advocate for fairness and bring folks to the ballot box. We will use our legal resources to ensure a fair ballot title. Our efforts will reach beyond King County and the Interstate 5 corridor - we can call upon the advocacy and support of local ACLU groups and allies across the state.

We are confident that the residents of Washington will see through Eyman's hypocrisy and will take a stand for equality. With your help, and the help of many others who care about freedom and justice, we will defeat the initiative and preserve hard-won gains against discrimination.

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