Friday
February 24, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 08
 
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IN THEIR OWN WORDS:Washington State Democrats
IN THEIR OWN WORDS:Washington State Democrats
by Dwight Pelz, Chair, Washington State Democrats

[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.]

When Governor Chris Gregoire signed into law House Bill 2661, which ensures Gays and Lesbians are protected against discrimination, it marked a victory that was 29 years in the making. This was a fight that has had many champions, Rep. Ed Murray, who has sponsored the legislation for 11 years; the late Sen. Cal Anderson who sponsored it for many years before that; and the countless others in the community who have fought for fair treatment for everyone.

The Democratic Party of Washington believes strongly in ensuring equal rights for everyone and opposes discrimination in any form. We support the anti-discrimination bill, having long called for its passage in our state platform for many years. Many of us in the Party admiringly refer to it as the Anderson/Murray act to honor the work of its two most prominent sponsors.

I'm proud that every single Democrat in the State House of Representatives voted in support of this bill. Last month, the Democratic Party passed a resolution thanking our legislators. In this same resolution, the Party committed to opposing any referendum to overturn this historic legislation and to encourage Washington citizens to not sign any petition to help get a referendum or initiative onto the ballot.

The Democratic Party of Washington will fight against any ballot measure which attempts to repeal the civil rights of our citizens. It's sad to see that there are people who would attempt to take away these basic civil rights, to actually be pro-discrimination.

Led by initiative sponsor-for-hire Tim Eyman, the cynical and close minded have filed an initiative and referendum to overturn the anti-discrimination law. Eyman is distorting the intent and meaning of the law to make a quick buck. Using fear tactics, Eyman would have voters believe the law passed by the legislature is about quotas and preferential treatment. He is purposely using false and inflammatory language to hide the fact that he is openly supporting discrimination.

We need to be clear when talking about this law that it is about equal and fair treatment for everyone under the law.

As Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, I will vigorously oppose these sad attempts by Tim Eyman to drag us back into the dark days of Jim Crow-type laws. I believe the fair-minded and progressive voters of Washington will agree and share our values of equal treatment.

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