Friday, August 3, 2012
Our government is broken because we consistently elect Republican and Democratic zombies who vote nothing but the party line. Bill Finkbeiner and Maureen Walsh offer the electorate something significantly different.
In 2006, Sen. Bill Finkbeiner of Kirkland was the only Republican senator to vote for the Anderson/Murray Anti-Discrimination Bill (House Bill 2661), which added "sexual orientation" to a state law that banned discrimination in housing, employment, insurance and credit based on race, gender, national origin, age, disability, religion, marital status, and several other categories.
After having consistently failed for years, the Anderson/Murray Anti-Discrimination Bill passed because of Finkbeiner's vote. In May 2006, Finkbeiner, a 1991 Whitman College graduate, gave the third Matthew Shepard Lecture at Whitman College.
I am delighted to support Finkbeiner for lieutenant governor. In 2006, he said this regarding anti-gay discrimination: "Real people are affected by this issue: our friends, our co-workers, our family members, our neighbors. I don't agree with the politicization of people's personal lives."
Maureen Walsh, who needs no introduction in these pages, has served faithfully as state representative for the 16th District since 2005. She has always gotten my vote and I urge you to re-elect her to a fourth term.
In 2008, Walsh co-sponsored (with Ed Murray) the Domestic Partnership Bill, which gave gays and lesbians (and heterosexuals age 62 and older) the right to visit a partner in the hospital, inherit their property without a will and, among other things, make funeral arrangements. In 2012, Walsh was one of only two House Republicans who voted for gay marriage in our state.
After her moving speech for marriage equality -- which has been heard and appreciated all over the world -- she, too, was invited to Whitman College where she spoke about this and other issues.
Finkbeiner and Walsh are courageous individuals who listen carefully, rethink issues independently, engage in honest dialogue, seek common ground and vote their conscience.
We would not be where we are today in the struggle for gay rights either nationally or in our own state without such people.
It was Connecticut independent Sen. Joe Lieberman, and Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins who removed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" measure out of the Defense Spending Bill and introduced it as stand-alone legislation. Collins' break with party orthodoxy encouraged seven other Republican senators to follow her example and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was abolished.