The Washington State Senate and House, at the request of the Washington State Council of Clubs and the Motorcycle Profiling Project, have both proposed identical legislation, SB 6624/ HB 2950, that would add individuals wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club related paraphernalia to the Washington State Civil Rights Act (RCW 49.60.030) as a protected class. Additionally, SB 6624/HB 2950 adds the right to be free from law enforcement profiling to the list of explicated civil rights protections for all protected classes.I have two questions about this, understanding that ABATE is a good organization that normally means well.
The Washington State Council of Clubs, the Motorcycle Profiling Project, and BOLT of Washington drafted the language for the identical proposals. ABATE of Washington also supported the effort.
The addition of individuals wearing motorcycle or motorcycle club related paraphernalia would provide unprecedented protection against many forms of discrimination if these bills pass. It would be a violation of civil rights to deny an individual employment, public accommodations, or profile them based on their expression or associations with a motorcycle club.... Individuals in motorcycle clubs have a fundamental right of association that should not be infringed upon based on generalized suspicion. Absent proof of the intent to commit criminal activity an individual should not be subjected to government regulation or law enforcement actions.
1) Is it really necessary to seek protected status to obtain what sound like ordinary Constitutional rights -- free association, and the right to be free of unreasonable harassment by police?
2) Doesn't this bill protect free association in one case only by limiting it in another? Your freedom to associate with your club is protected, but at the cost of telling (say) employers that they can't choose whether or not to associate with you because of it. What makes it right to use the government to place our rights above the rights of others? It's the same right, and we are both of us citizens of the United States in the same way.
All in all, I don't think I want to be a member of a 'protected class' anyway. I'm one of the last Americans who isn't, and there's a certain glory to that.