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Tuesday, February 10, 2004

This time, conservatives want the state to get out of their bedrooms.

Usually it is the Democrats who cry out over government intrusion into the bedroom. But some democrats, like Washington state representative Maralyn Chase, favor privacy only for liberal causes. The "Two or Fewer" bill she proposed upholds the Democratic and liberal perspective, so that invasion of privacy doesn't count as a genuine invasion.

The truth is that Ms. Chase's perspective doesn't hold up as consistent when more liberal issues are at stake. A defender of gay rights, she gets an A rating from the Snohomish County Elections Committee for Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered. Another pro-homosexual group lists her as one of the few Washington state representatives with an "A+" rating, rating her higher than 50% of the openly homosexual or bisexual representatives. Her views on privacy only extend to the privacy of groups represented by liberal causes and groups, apparently. It would be nice if she could represent her constituency more evenhandedly, by holding either a solid moral perspective or an unflinching respect for privacy for all. Some people would still disagree with her views, but at least they could not accuse her of hypocrisy.

Ms. Chase herself claims her bill is not an intrusion at all, because it does not advocate the actual restriction of family size, but only "education." She "She counts that choice among the most private and intimate decisions a couple can make." She speaks as though she is defending the rights of both sides; but it is only the promotion of negative population growth that her bill promotes. That isn't education, but propaganda.

And it is not just a matter of sexual privacy, but of religious freedom.

When she propagandizes against large families, not only is she committing a serious act of bigotry against a number of her own constituents, she is also making a religious statement that those religions that encourage larger families are acting harmfully to society. She is, further, encouraging others to join her in an idealogical crusade against those who have either personal or religious reasons for having larger families.

Then there's the more sinister question: how often does an idealogical crusade succeed without it eventually moving from words to action? It took China about 20 years to move from words to action, instituting a one-birth policy. And "progress" in multiple countries (particularly China and India) has shown that birth restriction, whether legally enforced or idealogically encouraged, tends to lead toward the degradation and even killing of women and girls. This is not a direction I, as a resident of Washington state, want to go.

Fortunately, neither do any other members of the Washington state House of Representatives. Unable to get a co-sponsor, the bill died for the year. I have a feeling that so will Ms. Chase's political career.