The local story that’s making national headlines is the tale of the pansy-ass hypocrites at Microsoft who withdrew their longtime support for HB 1515, the gay and lesbian anti-discrimination bill, after pressure from a Redmond-based, Evangelical mega-church.
Sandeep Kaushik apparently broke the story in The Stranger, before it swept through the national blogosphere (Slashdot and AMERICAblog, and landed on the pages of the New York Times: “Microsoft Comes Under Fire for Reversal on Gay Rights Bill.”
While I’ve been pretty darn loud in expressing my personal disgust over the defeat of HB 1515, I totally missed the boat on Microsoft’s role — or lack thereof. Fortunately a lot of other local bloggers have provided excellent coverage, including Evergreen Politics and Pacific Views. But the best local commentary I’ve seen thus far comes from Columbian Watch, both on the Microsoft debacle and on yesterday’s defeat of the bill.
This is a really important issue, and not just because HB 1515 was a deserving bill, or because it’s fun to stick it to Microsoft. It is important because it demonstrates how powerful the right-wing religious extremists have become, and how dangerously close they are to establishing their neo-fascist theocracy. That a powerful company like Microsoft, with a long history of supporting gay rights… or a politician like Sen. Finkbeiner, who has previously supported the legislation… would feel compelled to bow to pressures from the Dominionist forces, should scare everybody who naively believes that our basic human rights are somehow protected by that yellowed scrap of parchment on display at the National Archives.
I need to run out, but I have a lot more to say on this issue. And I intend to say it while I still can.