BREAKING: Washington State Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage
It’s been a great week for equality! A day after California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that called Proposition 8 unconstitutional, news broke that Washington state lawmakers have approved same-sex marriage.
Reuters reports that the measure was passed in the state House of Representatives by a 55-43 vote late Wednesday, after a 28-21 passage in the Senate last week. Governor Christine Gregoire is expected to sign the bill into law sometime next week.
LGBT Washington residents and activists around the country are hailing the vote as another victory.
“I would like our four children to understand … that their daddy and their papa have made that lifelong commitment to each other,” said Rep. Jamie Pedersen, the bill’s Democratic sponsor. “Thousands of same-sex couples in our state deserve the respect and protection from our government that only marriage can convey.”
Equality opponents have vowed to overturn the measure with a voting initiative. Reuters reports that House Republicans tried unsuccessfully to amend the bill with a mandate to automatically put the issue on the November ballot.
Once signed, the law will take effect in June.
Washington will become the seventh state to legally recognize same-sex marriage, following in the footsteps of New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa.