Washington law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It is the heading for a protected class of human beings. Sexual orientation cannot be an excuse to discriminate in hiring, wages, housing, or public accommodation. You are also forbidden to discriminate based on race, creed, sex, religion, national origin, parental status, disability, military service, etc. Those too represent protected classes.
It was only a few weeks past when we were piling up our traumatic language, digging deep into the journalistic disaster pack to describe the state of our international commerce. “Catastrophe” was my favorite. I used “staggering” more than once. “Devastation” and “debacle” worked their way in.
These arguments usually start with a preface, that in Washington the people’s right of initiative and referendum is “sacred,” or some other reverential adjective. Popular, maybe. Politically useful on occasion. The first right of the people, the state constitution says. But the process is not holy. It is too often a self-serving mess, infused with contradiction, demagoguery, deception and ignorance that can, and does, result in bad law.
It was a crack in a 50-year-old block of concrete. This wasn’t your old retaining wall or front steps. This old concrete block was part of a structure holding back one of the mightiest rivers in the world. Water rushed toward it at 200,000 cubic feet per second, or 90 million gallons a minute, carrying enough energy at that single point to light half of Seattle.