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Meaning . . . kicked out of the party?


Maureen Walsh

It’s been around a while, but we just ran across the paperwork – formal verbiage – and it seemed worth reprinting here. Not for the basic point being made, which isn’t that unusual in Republican circles, but for its down-on-paper explicitness.

The trigger was a vote by Representative Maureen Walsh, R-College Place (near Walla Walla), this year’s session in favor of the bill expanding the reach of domestic partnership law, the almost-marriage bill. As you might expect, that didn’t go over entirely well with all the Republicans back home, but many weren’t especally upset.

Some were. The blog McCranium (hat tip here) reports that a “source tells me it was more like mob rule than a meeting when a group consisting largely of evangelicals led by Nicole Prasch and Brenda High (complete with a area representative from Focus on the Family) pressured for a censure vote.”

What they passed was reflected in this press release, posted on the Franklin County Republicans blog:

On April 21, 2009, at the Franklin County Republican Central Committee meeting, the Committee overwhelmingly voted to censure 16th District Legislator, Maureen Walsh, for her sponsorship of the recently passed HB 1727.

HB 1727 inserts the following language in nearly 200 different places within its text:

“The terms spouse, marriage, marital, husband, wife, widow, widower, next of kin, and family shall be interpreted as applying equally to state registered domestic partnerships or individuals in state registered domestic partnerships as well as to marital relationships and married persons …Gender- specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.”

Despite all her rhetoric otherwise, it has become indisputable to the Franklin County Republican Central Committee that Rep. Walsh is actively working to incrementally legalize gay marriages. As early as the 2006 legislative session, Rep. Walsh was working to expand the jurisdiction of the Human Rights Commission to include cases of discrimination because of a person’s sexual orientation with her co-sponsorship or HB 2661.

The Franklin County Republican Platform states:

“Families are the center of our culture and the basic unit of society. Traditional families must be protected and honored. Traditional marriage must remain the only acceptable form of legally protected marriage. Marriage is only between a man and a woman and should not be redefined.”

Representative Walsh has claimed that Republicans favor her agenda of stripping traditional marriage of its meaning and watering down the definition of the words “marriage” and “family”. Thus, we, The Franklin County Republican Central Committee, formally give the Franklin County community and voting constituents of District 16, NOTICE, that Representative Maureen Walsh does not represent the values of the Franklin County Republican Party.

So what does that translate to? An attempt to kick her out of the party? (Since Franklin County is only a part of her district, it has delivered only a partial Republican message.) A call for a primary challenge? Or something else?

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