Andrew at Permanent Defense (et al) recently pointed me towards the petition for R-65, Tim Eyman’s cynical and mean-spirited referendum to repeal the gay civil rights bill recently passed by the state Legislature. Tim has a history of shamelessly lying in the headlines of his petitions… but this one’s a doozy:
Thing is, R-65 has absolutely nothing to do with preferential treatment, quotas, or same-sex marriage. The referendum would repeal ESHB 2661, which is accurately described in the small print of the statutorily mandated Ballot Measure Summary… mere inches below Tim’s intentionally dishonest headline.
ESHB 2661 amends the state’s law against discrimination to prohibit discrimination based on “sexual orientation” in employment, housing, credit, insurance, health maintenance contracts, public accommodations, and commercial boycotts or blacklists. “Sexual orientation” includes heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. State marriage laws are not modified, employment goals or quotas are not required, nor any specific belief, practice, behavior or orientation endorsed. Religious organizations and owner-occupied dwelling units are exempt from this law.
A few weeks back I suggested a number of initiative process reforms, and near the top of the list was a proposal to ban all editorial content on petitions. Clearly, it damages the integrity of the initiative and referendum process to have sponsors intentionally mislead voters… but censorship would be impractical, if not downright scary. Thus the only way to prevent sponsors from lying on their petitions is to prevent them from printing anything but the statutorily mandated components.
In the absence of such a sensible reform, Tim is free to be… well… Tim. And so he boldly lies to voters, right there in the headline of the R-65 petition. Why? Because polls show that a majority of Washington citizens oppose discrimination… even against (gasp) gay people. If voters understand what R-65 actually does — make it legal to discriminate against gays — most would decline to sign the petition. And so once again, Tim lied.
Which of course raises a question I’ve been meaning to ask of editorial page editors around the state: “Why the hell do you still give a lying sack of shit like Tim Eyman free access to your op/ed pages?” The guy doesn’t print opinion in his guest columns… he prints lies!