Washington State Passes Marriage Equality Legislation

Yesterday, the Washington House of Representatives approved legislation to allow same-sex couples to marry in that state.  The 55-43 vote comes a week after the State Senate passed the measure.  The bill is expected to be signed into law by Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire next week.

Senator Ed Murray, an openly gay legislator who sponsored the bill and who has championed other gay rights legislation over the years, said the favorable vote marked “a day that will be remembered in the history of this state.”

Following the vote, Governor Gregoire issued a statement, saying it was “a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

The proposal will go into effect 90 days after the current legislative session expires in March. However, it comes as no surprise that bitter opponents of gay marriage are already ramping up to put a discriminatory anti-gay measure on the ballot. If they don’t collect enough signatures by June 6thm, same-sex couples may begin walking down the aisle in June.

According to the Huffington Post, “Several Republican amendments to the bill were rejected, including one that would have added private businesses and individuals, such as bakers and photographers, to the exemption in the measure that doesn’t require religious organizations or churches to perform marriages and doesn’t subject them to penalties if they don’t marry gay or lesbian couples. Another would have required a one-month residency requirement before people could get married in Washington.”

Republicans who opposed the bill argued that it goes against the tradition of marriage. Rep. Jay Rodne said the bill “severs the cultural, historical and legal underpinnings of the institution of marriage.”

Okay then. Isn’t that argument getting old?

Washington will become the 7th state in the U.S. to legalize same-sex marriage, joining Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Iowa, New York and New Hampshire. Gay marriage is also legal in Washington D.C.

Kudos to the State of Washington for making marriage equality a priority.


UPDATE 2/13/12:

Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation today to make Washington state the seventh in the United States to legalize gay marriage!




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copyright 2012 Irene C. Olszewski


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