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“License to hate”

You might think that a big warning sign might have been posted, in letters too large and obvious to ignore, somewhere in the Washington Senate Republican caucus, a clear message: Don’t give the Democrats social-issue raw meat. Stick to taxes and budgets; leave the rest for another day.

But no. Here’s the text (all but a link) of what may be the Senate Democrats’ last press release of the session: “With literally hours left in the 2013 session, and virtually nothing to show for more than 100 days of work, 11 Republicans have decided their time would be best spent rolling back civil rights.”

The measure in question is Senate Bill 5927, and has to do with civil rights. Here is how one Democrat, Senator Kevin Ranker, described it: “if you own a business in our state and don’t like gay people because of religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs or just because you don’t, you will no longer have to provide services or sell your goods to any gay people. How’s that for progress? This of course all stems from the case of a florist in Richland who decided to not provide flowers for a gay couple’s wedding. Providing legal protection for this kind of bigotry takes us back to the days before Martin Luther King Jr., and attempts to reopen an issue that has been settled history in this country for decades.”

You will be hearing about all the way through 2014, as the parties battle for more outright control of the Washington Legislature.

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