by Gary L. Bauer
While events in Washington, D.C., frequently dominate the headlines, Washington State is making news for recent skirmishes in the ongoing culture war.
In recent weeks, we have told you about how unelected federal bureaucrats were forcing girls in public high schools to share showers, locker rooms and bathrooms with boys who think they are girls.
Well, the bureaucrats in Washington State got the message and decided to do the same thing there. In addition, private businesses and other “public accommodations” are being forced to comply with this new regulation. Nobody ever voted for this, but a spokeswoman for the Washington ACLU called the mandate a “fabulous thing.”
For some reason, I don’t think most residents of Washington State feel the same way. And radical bureaucrats in other jurisdictions would be well advised to consider the recent experience of Houston, Texas, where a similar ordinance was put on the ballot and repealed by an overwhelming vote of the people.
Meanwhile, another business in Washington State may be forced to close its doors because the left refuses to accommodate the deeply-held beliefs of the family that owns and operates it. This is becoming a far too common occurrence in a nation founded on the principle of religious freedom.
The state is attempting to force a privately-owned pharmacy to sell so-called “emergency contraception” or abortion-inducing drugs in spite of the religious objections of the owners. Thirty pharmacies within five-miles offer the drugs, so it is hard for the government to claim that anyone is being deprived of services.
Nevertheless, the regulators have dug their heels in. Now the family is asking the Supreme Court to intervene. The court’s opinion in the Hobby Lobby case seemingly offers some hope, but it has turned down other religious liberty cases.
Gary L. Bauer served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration for eight years, as Under Secretary of Education and as President Reagan’s Chief Domestic Policy Advisor.