Seattle Archbishop Alex Brunett in the last issue of the official Catholic diocese newspaper, The Northwest Progress, argued against passage of a pending bill in Olympia that would grant same sex couples the right to make medical and other decisions as other relationships. When Kate Fleming drowned in her Seattle basement from a sudden flood, her partner of ten years had no legal right to be with her or make decisions about her and was legally treated as a stranger by the existing laws. This bill would correct that situation. The Archbishop’s argument against passage of the bill was that it "discriminates" against families. Reading between the lines, however, makes that argument appear disingenuous The objection appears to me to be only an excuse for his real objection which is a blanket objection to any legislation that would recognize same sex relationship rights of any kind.
Physicians Angelena Labella and Devika Singh as guest columnists in the Seattle PI correctly noted that Brunett’s objections are "wrought with homophobia" and showed "a dangerous lack of understanding with regard to state medical laws." The bill does not provide for gay marriage rights. Instead it provides same sex couples would register with the state and receive certain rights including decision making in a medical situation. The physician’s comments in the column bear repeating: "One would only hope that people of compassion, such as the Archbishop, would stop muddying the waters surrounding this issue…The bill acts to extend only very specific, very limited and very basic civil right to gay citizens who should not be forced try the legal system to die alone." I agree.