Last week, Washington State passed a bill barring private-sector discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. There were a few depressing statements from proponents of the bill, such as the claim by State Sen. Bill Finkbeiner that "What we are really talking about here is … whether or not it's OK to be gay or homosexual in this state," as if it's only "OK to be gay" if the state forces some bigoted prick to rent you an apartment. But the really sad part is that opponents seemed to be almost wholly acting on the worst motives. For instance:
Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, said, "Discrimination against anyone is unacceptable, and it is wrong."
"Unfortunately the bill before us today is not the magic tool that will end discrimination in our state," he said. "In reality, it takes us in the opposite direction.
"The passage of this legislation puts us on a slippery slope towards gay marriage. The two are linked. … Are any of us naive enough to think the court won't take notice?"
In other words, revoking private citizens' rights to free association is, in itself, just fine and dandy. The real threat, apparently, is this might lead to a requirement that the government treat all citizens equally, and that would be unacceptable. In the immortal words of Mugatu: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!