Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Redmond-based Antioch Bible Church, filed an initiative today (1/19/07) with the Secretary of State seeking to repeal the Anderson-Murray Civil Rights Bill, which became law last year. The new law bans discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Hutcherson had submitted Initiative 375 last November that sought to "remove references to 'sexual orientation' or 'sexual preference' including heterosexuality, homosexuality, Bisexuality, gender expression, identity, appearance and behavior from the state's law against discrimination..." However, Hutcherson's effort was seen largely as political maneuvering for a possible filing at a later date.
A similar effort by Tim Eyman, Referendum 65, failed to receive the 112,440 valid signatures needed to qualify for last November's ballot. For Hutcherson's latest effort to appear on the ballot, he will need to collect 224,880 valid signatures by July 6, 2007.
Hutcherson is no stranger to the region's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community. Hutcherson's church had gathered signatures to support the Eyman's referendum. He took credit for bullying Microsoft into temporarily withdrawing its support of pro-Gay legislation and organized the 2004 "Mayday for Marriage Rally" at Safeco Field. He is also an advocate of "ex-Gay" therapy and offers it at his church, a practice condemned by every mainstream medical and psychological organization.
Hutcherson's initiative hasn't been assigned a number, nor has it been made available online at the Secretary of State's website. A spokesperson for the Secretary of State said the initiative had not yet been scanned.