Inside Opinion

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Tag: marriage


No rosebuds for discriminating against gay customers

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have rallied around a Richland florist who is being sued by the state attorney general’s office and the ACLU for refusing to provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. But the core issue isn’t same-sex marriage; it’s the consumer’s right not to face discrimination.

Florist Barronelle Stutzman says she is religiously opposed to same-sex marriage because of her Christian beliefs, and she has every right to hold that opinion. She just doesn’t have the right to impose it in the commercial marketplace.

State anti-discrimination and consumer protection law is clear: Merchants cannot refuse goods and service to someone because of race, creed, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, military status or disability.

Would Stutzman’s supporters defend her if she Read more »


A historic day for Washington state and civil rights

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

With Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signature, Washington today becomes the seventh state to recognize gay marriage. It’s a historic day for same-sex couples seeking equal treatment under the law for their relationships.

But they shouldn’t rush out and order invitations and wedding cake; it’s unlikely they can start getting married anytime soon. Opponents have vowed to place at least one measure on the November ballot to overturn the legislation that passed the state Legislature last week largely along party lines.

Referendum backers only need to gather 120,557 signature to get on the ballot; an initiative requires 241,153. If signature-gathering falls short, same-sex marriages could start taking place in June. Otherwise, the outcome of the November election would be the deciding factor.
Read more »


R-71: Don’t change the rules after the game’s over

I know it’s asking a lot, but let’s take a step back from the angst surrounding the referendum to undo the new “everything-but-marriage” benefits for gay partners. Let’s try to look at the lawsuit against R-71 in the cold light of neutral legality and even-handed procedure.

Washington Families Standing Together, defending the new domestic partnership law, is asking the courts to keep R-71 off the ballot for several reasons. The only reason likely to get any legal traction is the claim that Protect Marriage Washington – the anti-benefits people – allowed citizens who weren’t registered voters to sign the petitions.

When petition-gatherers ran into would-be signers who weren’t registered, they had them fill out a registration card on the spot; the card was then sent to the local county auditor.

State code says that only registered voters can sign. The question is, can a citizens be considered registered when they complete the card? Or must they first be registered registered by county elections officials?

David Ammons, spokesman for Secretary of State Sam Reed, says Reed’s office has taken “sort of a liberal reading of that requirement.”
Read more »