June 9, 2006
Volume 34
Issue 23
search only SGN online
Friday, Aug 07, 2020



What a week! While the national rhetoric heated up, and we once again saw the Senate defeat an effort to write discrimination into the Constitution, a landmark law went into effect here at home. After months of gearing up for a referendum battle, it turns out the campaign was aptly named: Washington Won't Discriminate. That is cause for celebration and congratulation on many fronts.

Most important, Washingtonians of all sexual orientations, all gender identities, just got safer. As of Wednesday, June 7, 2006, it is illegal anywhere in this state to fire someone, deny them housing, or offer them different terms for credit or insurance simply because they are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, or, for that matter, heterosexual. The law raises the community standard and, as our opponents know, it changes the culture.

With this law in place, more people can feel secure coming out and sharing their stories, being themselves, helping friends, family, and colleagues understand that they do know Gay people and we're just people who want to have our full humanity recognized.

Another cause for congratulation is that Eyman and the Faith & Freedom Network were unable to rally enough people against us to motivate them to get out and collect signatures. The hard work of changing hearts and minds is beginning to reap results. Eyman usually gets funding to pay signature-gatherers for his initiatives, but those funders didn't come forward to support the referendum and apparently there wasn't much out-of-state money either. Why? Because the voters of Washington state believe in fairness, and funders don't want to back a losing battle.

So congratulations to everyone who worked to pass the anti-discrimination bill over the past thirty years, to everyone who stepped up to endorse and support the Washington Won't Discriminate campaign, to everyone who came out to friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers over the past decades, helping people understand who we are and why fairness matters.

We have made tremendous progress. June 7, like January 27 -the day the bill passed in the legislature-was a day for celebration.


And now we have more work to do. Building on the momentum of our victory, we need to elect fair-minded legislators and Supreme Court justices this November. Full equality depends upon us having a legislature that recognizes our humanity and supports fair treatment.

We need to continue our work toward marriage equality, educating people around the state, identifying and mobilizing supporters to stand with us when the Supreme Court decision comes down.

And we need to be there with our allies if their foes succeed in gathering signatures, particularly I-946, the anti-immigrant measure. The same people who attack us are attacking immigrants, reproductive rights, and many other vulnerable communities. Those communities stood with us in support of the anti-discrimination bill, and many signed friend-of-the-court briefs for the Supreme Court marriage case. We must also stand with them.

This weekend, we celebrate. Next week, we get back to work! Join us. Visit:


See the parade from the inside! We'll be turning out in force at the Seattle Pride Parade, and you're invited to join us. If you'd like to march with ERW at Pride - or volunteer to help us staff our booth and talk with people about equality issues - call 324-3570 or email It's a great way to get involved and to meet people who care passionately about equality.

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