This legislative session has seen a barrage of really harmful legislation be introduced and gain traction in the legislature.
Two bills, (HB 1523, and SB 6219) would force businesses, individuals, and possibly religious organizations to pay for contraception and/or abortion coverage despite religious and moral objections.
Another bill (SB 6037) would legalize surrogacy contracts in Washington State. Mitsutoku Shigeta, a single man from Japan, was just last week awarded custody of 13 children he purchased through surrogacy in Thailand. While this case has prompted Thailand to make it illegal for foreigners to come into their country and pay for children through surrogacy, the bill being debated would make it possible for him, or anyone, to do the same thing here in Washington State.
Another bill (SB 5722) would make it illegal for therapists to have conversations with minors about same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria in the name of stopping child abuse. The only thing a therapist would be allowed to do is to help a minor change their gender or embrace same-sex attraction.
Each of these bills has momentum in the Washington State legislature, but with each bill there is a growing opportunity—if not to stop the bills entirely—to amend them to take out many of the worst parts.
Personal visits by businesses owners, therapists, and individuals who would be affected by the bills has helped lawmakers understand the harmful impacts of the bills. However political realities incline many legislators to support them anyway.
That’s why they need to hear from their constituents to convince them that a good vote is also good politics.
Fortunately, that has been happening as well. Significant constituent communications through phone calls and emails are making an impact, but they must continue.
While these bills are being exposed as bully tactics in one-on-one conversations, the special interests behind them have not stopped pushing. That’s why it is so important that you continue to communicate with your elected officials and rally others to do the same. In many ways, those who are intent on taking away freedom and choice from decent people depend on the passivity of those same people.
As you communicate with legislators about these issues, encourage them to support amendments that would do the following:
Abortion and Contraception Mandates (HB 1523, SB 6219)
- Amendment to exempt religious business owners from the abortion and/or contraception mandate.
- Amendment to exempt religious organizations abortion and/or contraception mandate.
Contract Surrogacy (6037)
- Amendment to limit surrogacy contracts to residents of Washington State and citizens of the United States.
- Amendment to limit the number of children that can be purchased through surrogacy contracts
- Amendment to require intended parents in surrogacy contracts to go through adoption like screening process before the contract can be enforced.
Therapy Ban (5722)
- Amendment to exempt therapists employed by religious organizations
- Amendment to ban aversive therapies like shock therapy and ice baths but not talk therapy.
These bills are likely to be voted on in the next day or two. If you want your voice to be heard, the time to communicate is now.
To reach your legislators about this or any bill, Washington State residents can call their legislators through the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 or email them by clicking here. Then forward this information to a friend.
Finally, if you appreciate this information and the opportunity it provides you to be a more informed, effective citizen, click here to make sure it continues. We can’t do it without you.