SB 5972 is an excuse to discriminate


I’m going to question Lorne Blackmans’ letter to the editor regarding SB 5927.

He states that SB 5927 is wholly intended to protect rights of business owners. Which business owners?

In my opinion it is a device to undermine laws already in place against discrimination. No one was harmed, he claims, when Arlene’s Florist Shop refused to sell flowers to a gay couple for their wedding. Really, maybe hurt a bit. Shocked, humiliated, nothing much, right?

Flowers for a wedding could be purchased elsewhere and they were — but my point here is clear:

This is not about flowers; it is about not serving anyone, an individual or business.

SB 5927 would allow any person on religious or deep convictions of belief an out to deny services to another person or business. Of course, it is really to discriminate against homosexuals. It can’t avoid federal laws that prohibit discrimination on nearly every facet of American life, except for sexual orientation. How convenient for the sponsors of SB 5927. Now who’s left of center?

It would be only a manner of time before an incident in any emergency situation would try this dangerous new law in real time.

In a hospital, for example — “Sorry, I heard that person there call you his husband. I realize you’re injured but I can’t perform life saving surgery on any same sex couple’s spouse. I’m a Christian with deeply held beliefs. Go with God!”

Think this couldn’t happen? Think again.

As a Christian, I believe almost everyone would never withhold life-saving surgery. I personally would help a stranger in need and I would never even consider their sexual orientation, religious belief or physical “look” as a reason to not assist in an emergency.

People like me are not left of center or radical. I do not have a demonic agenda and a will to destroy families.

I believe in families. It’s why I married. My partner and I will jointly celebrate our wedding this summer along with his parents. We will be eight years married. (Thanks Canada.)

It is about love, commitment and American values. Human values.

I hold no ill will toward the florist. We are both Christians and I understand deeply held convictions.

The courts will make a decision here — may wisdom prevail for everyone involved.

Kevin Patterson

Walla Walla



Iopine says...

Geez - a little tough transitioning from a flower shop to surgery was a tough read. Maybe you were losing your train of thought half way through - ya think?

Posted 29 May 2013, 6:28 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

Nope, not at all! Remember the Parents several years ago in Oregon who's child died due to their refusal for medical attention for the child's ailment which would have been completely cured by antibiotics? Instead, the parents- because of their faith refused services, prayed.......and well the story ended horribly. .......They were found guilty, as they should have been. They may have followed their hearts but in doing so silenced the heart of their young child.
Deep religious convictions go only so far and the courts including the Supreme Court or as you have called them: The Bumbling Supremes- have set some common sense boundaries on religious freedom of expression. Like I stated prior; this acrimony between plaintiffs and defendants will end in another court decision. We should all stay tuned.

Posted 29 May 2013, 6:54 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

I notice you bring a lot of religion into the discussion but I don't see you screaming out about late term abortion. Does that mean that only religious believers are murderers or can we include abortionists that are a popular form of birth control?

Posted 30 May 2013, 1:11 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

I'm against abortion, surprise you? You don't know me as you think you do. Take a rest. I have a 37 y.o. daughter and 2 grandkids; things happen for a reason.

Posted 31 May 2013, 3:24 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

There is a much bigger problem in this area than this little florist shop.
It seems Chase Bank Corp. can conduct business as they wish, and this means there are much bigger ramifications! They have refused to do business with people whom works at jobs outside their ideal and pristine world! (Google... chase bank-porn stars).
If the law allows a huge conglomerate like Chase to discriminate against people with lawful income, and tell them that they can go to other banks to do business, then I would guess the law is going to side with this florist.... And tell this couple to go to somewhere else.

Posted 29 May 2013, 7:35 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

Kevin, congratulations on your upcoming anniversary and may you happily celebrate many more.

But (you knew that was coming) "shocked and humiliated"? Isn't that a bit extreme of a reaction to a florist telling someone she doesn't want to provide him the service he asked for? From everything we've heard, Arlene was polite when she declined their job, and simply said it was against her religious views to participate in their wedding.

None of us has the right to be liked, approved of or catered to by people who don't want to cater to us. Even if it shocks us to find out about it.

And you're mistaken about federal laws prohibiting discrimination on "almost every facet of American life." Federal laws against discrimination are very limited: only race, creed, color, sex and national origin, (and more recently disability) and only in "public accommodations engaged in interstate commerce" (or for employment discrimination, businesses of over 15 employees). "Interstate commerce" has been defined much more broadly in recent years than it was when the law was written, but even now, I have to wonder whether a small florist shop would qualify.

What's left to discriminate on? How about political orientation, appearance, apparel, mannerisms, philosophy, grammar, musical taste, choice of car, education, tattoos, piercings, criminal history, employment status, and hundreds of other aspects of our individuality. All perfectly legal.

Doctors and certain other professionals (lawyers, dentists, psychologists, and maybe some others) have ethical duties far beyond those of other businesses, and the scenario you describe about declining to perform surgery would be an extreme violation of medical ethics, so it's not a real concern.

Posted 29 May 2013, 8:23 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

Yes, thanks, eight years- good start!.. My in-laws will celebrate 56years together. A real nice celebration is what we'll have together.
Now back to our one on one-
Really-why would that make any difference to someone with deeply held religious convictions? Now your assuming that a person would limit flowers (example) for a same sex wedding but not medical life saving surgery. Oh, what- did that person have an epiphany? Or are they aware of the medical code of contact; the oath they took;
Hmmmmmmmm. Humans are strange lot.

Posted 29 May 2013, 9:22 p.m. Suggest removal

PearlY says...

Yes, I do assume that. Most people have a good grasp of the difference between arranging some flowers and performing life-saving emergency surgery.

What you're forgetting, Kevin, is that this florist did not object to provide service to gay people. She had provided flowers to this couple before and knew they were gay. It was THEIR WEDDING that she objected to providing the arrangements for. She didn't feel she could support them on that specific occasion. I'm pretty sure she would have also objected to providing the flowers for any other marriage she believed was contrary to her idea of God's law, such as a bigamous marriage, for example.

I can imagine Arlene as a doctor perhaps refusing to provide physician-assisted suicide based on her religion, but I can't imagine her refusing to perform life-saving emergency surgery.

I get that you find it personally offensive that some people don't support your choices but clearly you don't support theirs, either. That's where the "Live and let live" principle comes in.

Posted 29 May 2013, 9:39 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

First my choice if you're referring to as being gay- is not a choice. Did you choose to not be? If this is not what you meant, sorry. Just seems this way. But let's not digress.
Did you choose to be Atheist? I chose to be Christian, now that is a choice I made! Atheist, a choice , right? From your life's experiences as mine are for me as a Christian. Oh, and sometimes I questions my beliefs: I see and hear proclaimed Christians saying and doing horrible things to others in great pain; such as the loss of a loved one in war. The Christians from Kansas; (Westboro Baptist Church!) OMG, lucky they have the supreme court behind them on 1st amendment right to free (HATE) speech. But this is something I reluctantly support even as it sickens me.
Finally bigamist marriages are illegal (here;) same sex marriage is legal(here.) Look, I don't want to beat up on a persons deeply held beliefs, but I also feel principled to stand up for what I believe is a civil right. Good Night-

Posted 29 May 2013, 10:11 p.m. Suggest removal

ImJustSayin says...


Posted 29 May 2013, 8:30 p.m. Suggest removal

wallyworldguy says...

SB 5927 would allow any person on religious or deep convictions of belief an out to deny services to another person or business. Of course, it is really to discriminate against homosexuals.

kev, i am starting to see where your problem is, Its your attitude. " Of course its really to discriminate" see I thought it had to do with respecting a persons religious or deep convictions and moral upbringing.
You try to make it sound like her refusal to participate sent him into some kind of total emotional brake down, humiliated, really? I think not. Your just trying to pull on peoples sympathy for support.
but apparently the flower shop lady, has no rights to live her life by her religious beliefs, huh kevin??
Just because a person opens a business, shouldn't mean they should have to abandon their religious beliefs and moral convictions.

"I hold no ill will toward the florist. We are both Christians and I understand deeply held convictions" No, i don't think you do. You don't understand HER deeply held convictions, just yours.


Posted 29 May 2013, 8:47 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

Your opinion. Obviously we don't agree.
I believe it is discrimination; I still ALSO believe she has the right to her beliefs. She can hold on to her deeply held convictions. She can live her life the way she wants. Sorry. You loose on this. Don't change my words to fit your prejudices,(it sounds to me.) I would serve her if it were my business, even though she is heterosexual. Geez sometimes you really make me wonder what makes you tick. Seriously. Gay, Straight. Way too much time on differences and not enough good energy on humanity.
I'm pleased that things are changing for same sex couples, even if it is an uneven road. At 56 years I'm really exhausted having to always try to prove something to others who are bigoted. Yes you heard me right. I think some people are little and bigoted 'cuz they can't just live their lives without trying to deny to others, what they expect for themselves.........I mean really- because of some ones sexual orientation? Most of my friends in Walla Walla - indeed everywhere thankfully don't have your mind set. They're straight. What gives? Anyway, got to go to sleep. Tomorrow I work at Macys where I will assist and help EVERYONE . This is just one of my deeply held Christian values that I hold. I'm not kidding.

Posted 29 May 2013, 9:12 p.m. Suggest removal

wallyworldguy says...

selling overpriced housewares and clothing to the public does not require you sell out your religious beliefs. So of course you will assist EVERYONE. Comparing that to the florist situation shows your total lack of understanding of the argument.

Requiring her to take part in arranging flowers for that wedding is like requiring every doctor to perform abortions when asked.

Not that the jobs are equally important, but that both would require the person to do something against their beliefs.

why do you feel it is ok to try to force someone into doing something that goes against their own beliefs??

By the way, we don't see things the same way, but I am much less a bigot then you.
You see this whole thing as gay vs straight, I see it as a business person not wanting to participate(arranging flowers at the location) in a ceremony that goes against her beliefs. Its nothing less- nothing more

Posted 1 June 2013, 8:45 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

Your opinion is taken. Feel Better?

Posted 3 June 2013, 9:54 p.m. Suggest removal

mytwocents says...

Why is it that sexual orientation matters only to straight people? And the fact that they're straight makes no difference to us?...

Posted 2 June 2013, 8:25 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

How is it only the "as you state straight people" are having a problem with this situation - it seems the majority of the objections are coming form gays?

Posted 2 June 2013, 3:19 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

As usual, namvet60- you missed the point. As for 'mytwocents'- it is from only a small minority of straight people that sexual orientation matters. I understand what you mean, but I fear that 'namvet60' doesn't have a clue!
The rest of intelligent straight and gay AMERICANS don't care. Read the polls!!!!!!! Fox, MSNBC and CNN all tells the truth of changing American attitudes and acceptance of Gays and Straights as Americans- together.
Again, namvet60 time to grow up.
My greatest hero is my Uncle Ron who is 80. Was a black beret in 'Nam and is straight OK! But he loves his brother, my other uncle who is ...........drumroll- gay. He was in the navy. They both proudly served and defended this country, like you........ They don't go after you. Why are you so insecure? I'm embarrassed for you.
Grow up- little insecure guy that you are, namvet60. You are doing this to yourself.
Funny, every time I say something to you that 'stumps' you -YOU never respond to it. This is very childish.
I'm against abortion, I told you that but all you label me is LIBERAL. What ever! My daughter and my grandkids are very loving towards each other. I could go on and on. Geeeeeez.
BTW, when was the last time you did anything to help in this town? Except tear down peoples opinions from the sidelines. You don't even have enough 'hutzpah' to write your own letter to the editor.
Anyone can be a 'side-line' referee! Gets 'some 'cajones!

Posted 2 June 2013, 9:25 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

I present my comments and opinions as I see fit. As far as your life history I couldn't care less. You don't know me from a hill of beans so your advice is for someone that cares and you should use the advice for yourself. Also, you don't have a clue if I have written a letter or not so you should utilize your limited knowledge and stick to the letters commented on.

Posted 3 June 2013, 6:20 a.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

....We all know who has written letters if they are secure enough to 'say' who they are. Not hide behind there instant handle rebuttals. I have never hidden....
Look you don't like me, I get it. With that, I'm so grateful to Vets who have put their lives on the line for the citizens that make up this country, including the Vets themselves.
Too bad some Vets think American citizens are just what is comfortable for them instead of the reality of inclusivity. Geeez.
Why you're so bitter is beyond me. Have some fun as well as insight to everyones right to express their feelings in this newspaper.

Posted 3 June 2013, 10:03 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Oh, I'm sorry - I didn't realize that there was a "need" to know? So about your comments - totally irrelevant - is that enough info?

Posted 4 June 2013, 8:31 a.m. Suggest removal

chicoli says...

Kevin, please don't waste your time with these radical conservatives, the minority thank God, who care less about reconciling their souls with humanity, love and tolerance. I've seen many of my patients devasted by their own relatives' rejection until they managed to turn themselve free from their guilt, but still able to forgive and to love them, even at an ostracised distance. Likewise we should have the same approach with these guys but still be on guard to defend the gains. To find solace in another accepting family, friends or organizations is indeed therapeutic, and the evidence in our communities is going in this direction. These positive changes are here to stay. We shall not lower our guard and should continue our efforts with great deliverance and stoicism, with or without "cojones". We know the law and how to make it better, thank God! We are ready for an intelectual fight and we are winning. By the inspiration from and old negroe spiritual we ain't goin' anywhere... "Like the tree that's planted by the water, we shall not be moved"

Posted 4 June 2013, 10:45 a.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Man that's funny! lol Have you contacted Chrissie Matthews, Rachel Maddow or Piers Morgan, because maybe you can get on there staff for writing some of your philosophies or in laymans terms Left Wing Rehtoric!

Posted 4 June 2013, 2:06 p.m. Suggest removal

downhillracer says...

"Their" staff is doing just fine, I'm sure. What in the "rehtoric" (perhaps "rhetoric"?) do you have a problem with? I see nothing but an acknowledgement of the higher spirit complete with love and forgivness, in the face of adversity.

Posted 4 June 2013, 3:37 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Your real funny? How about "forgiveness" instead of "forgivness"? I guess you fit right in with "Stupid is as Stupid does" all by yourself!- I guess everyone can play check my spelling and grammar. Wow - times are getting tough.

Posted 4 June 2013, 4:06 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

We all make grammatical errors , but only does Namvet60 make a point of it. What gives? Perhaps he drive a LARGE pickup truck.
I'm just say'n. Lol! Don't get pissed off bur really, Namvet60, grow some .............. You're not doing much but looki'n kinda silly.

Posted 4 June 2013, 11:15 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Do you totally lack in comprehension or your reading abilities are impaired? I was responding to the post previous and somehow you interject your stupidity!

Posted 5 June 2013, 3:43 p.m. Suggest removal

barracuda says...

Speaking of silly............... Wow,

Posted 5 June 2013, 5:17 p.m. Suggest removal

chicoli says...

Namvet, you meant to say "their staff" rather than "there staff". You have to say something more substantial than this to be able to remain competent on this interchange of ideas. You sound like a Ford T running out of gas. Your rethoric ( not rehtoric) is bland and vanilla at best, taking into consideration that rethoric implies some power of persuation and intelectual gravitas which are unfortunately lacking on your snarky comments, and much derived from your chronic "pissoffness" if I may!
From now on we liberals are going to raise the intelectual bar. The time for T ball is over; this is time for the "big leaguers" my friend. Either you say something worth debating ( in a civil manner) or say nothing...well, so far this is exactly what you've been saying, anyway!

Posted 4 June 2013, 6:59 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

First - the pot calling the kettle black - you better use your spell check and as far as trying to reprimand my comments good luck with that. You better buy a enormous hat rack and hang your hat to hide and watch. Your as far off base as your compadres and as soon as the uninformed finally figure out the free stuff is running out they will revolt as quick as your pancakes disappear for breakfast! Your demands are the same as I stated for Kevin - listen real carefully - your comments - totally irrelevant - get the drift pal?

Posted 4 June 2013, 7:12 p.m. Suggest removal

chicoli says...


Posted 4 June 2013, 7:20 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

He is an ass. Sorry. I usually refrain being so...abrupt. But he is. Yes, Namvet60, you are an ass! Remember you are the one who embellishes crew and lewd. As a Christian I'm not sure I should use this language. I'm sorry if I have offended anyone.
Yes . When I joined the military in 1981 I did so for 2 reasons. For the betterment of my self and for this country I love.
I never ever thought - (as) a gay man, an AMERICAN at 26 y.o. that I would not fight ONLY for Gays.....I knew I was there to fight and protect ALL American Citizens. The Military was Hostile towards sexuality other than straight in 1983 . The MILITARY was , well what is was in 1983. I was eventually removed given a general discharge. I tried to fight the charge o of chapter 13. In 1983 there was NO way to fight chapter 13
I'm Sorry Namvet60 you are so tightly bigoted against some Americans, ( different from) yourself.
To me it is refreshing and inspiring to fight, learn, and build friendship with others from different backgrounds then myself. Though we are all American our unique differences are an assest NOT an Offensive deteriment. I'm sorry for you that this all you understand. PACO1234 is right . The tide has turned and citizens with your mind set are , well rethinking and joining the human race. Look I have a daughter,(MUCH LOVED) and 2 grandkids...... They and you and I and Paco and countless others are what is AMERICA today.
Truth is love. Join, or be left to bitter. Sorry. that's life in the real world.
BTW, Thanks to Paco1234 for your insight. I don't know you, but you are full of wisdom.

Posted 4 June 2013, 10:54 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Very typical? Espousing ones Christian beliefs while interjecting divisive and derogatory language. As I have stated in the past your comments are irrelevant and totally irrational!

Posted 5 June 2013, 8:34 a.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

In your mind, whatever. Everyone's comments are relevant, just that some make more sense.

Posted 5 June 2013, 9:54 p.m. Suggest removal

Iopine says...

Another intellectual reply - irrelevant and irrational!

Posted 6 June 2013, 6:52 p.m. Suggest removal

Kevconpat says...

Geeez, SNOOZ!

Posted 6 June 2013, 11:42 p.m. Suggest removal

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