As Rev. Hutcherson Testifies Against the Gay Civil Rights Bill, the AP Revisits his Boycott Plan
Well, my burning question has been answered: Rev. Hutcherson did show up in the state senate this afternoon to testify against the gay civil rights bill. Did he say anything new? Not really. Although he did close his remarks with a warning that if the legislature approves the bill this year, Washington’s new protections for gays and lesbians may soon be rendered moot by an initiative that’s already been filed by… wait for it… Tim Eyman.
“Maybe the best thing in the world is for this bill to pass,” Hutcherson said. “Because if it does pass… it’s going to come before the people.”
We’ll see. But more interesting than Rev. Hutcherson’s prophecy of a popular backlash against the bill is a new Associated Press report, which hit the wires just as Rev. Hutcherson was sitting down to testify.
Slog readers may recall all the time I spent last week looking into Rev. Hutcherson’s false prophecy of a nation-wide boycott against Microsoft and other companies that are supporting the gay civil rights bill. It was a prophecy he delivered via the Associated Press, which unfortunately took him seriously and sent news of the boycott out to millions of readers. Now that the boycott Rev. Hutcherson threatened via the AP has failed to materialize, the AP is revisiting the issue, and taking a more skeptical look at both the reverend, and his newly-revised boycott plan:
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A pastor who had threatened a national boycott against Microsoft and other major companies for supporting a gay civil rights bill is now pushing for an unlikely protest, urging people to buy up the companies’ stock and then dump it to drive prices down.
Rev. Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, home to the software company’s headquarters, says he wants to use the stock market to make a political point. But one market expert laughed at the idea.
“The chances of him being successful with that are slim to none, and slim just left town,” said Hans Olsen, chief investment officer at Bingham Legg Advisers.
Hutcherson told The Associated Press last week he was calling for a boycott of the companies, but said Tuesday that the stock-dumping plan, which calls on people to sell the companies’ shares on May 1, had been his strategy all along.
I have a story coming out in this week’s Stranger about what the boycott flap means for Rev. Hutcherson’s standing as a leader of the religious right. Here’s a link.
The civil rights bill passed out of its first senate committee, 7-3, and now moves toward a vote by the full senate.