Republican state senator Steve Litzow has announced that he will support Governor Christine Gregoire’s same-sex marriage legislation, making Litzow the first GOP member of the Washington legislature to do so.
Litzow recently revealed his support to The Seattle Times:
“I am a traditional Republican,” explained Litzow. “When you think about gay marriage, it’s the right thing to do and it’s very consistent with the tenets of being a Republican — such as individual freedom and personal responsibility.”
Litzow is not an activist on social issues, but is a big supporter of education reform. He also is a suburban businessman, married with four children, who believes in treating all citizens fairly. He believes that if two adults of the same gender wish to commit to each other, the state should not discriminate, period. He is correct.
Four Republican lawmakers in New York, who helped same-sex marriage pass in June of last year, used similar language to voice their support for equal marriage rights.
It is hoped that LItzow’s breaking with party conference may be enough to sway other Republicans who would not have made such a bold move alone.
Democrats have a 27-22 majority in the Washington Senate and enjoy a 56-42 majority in the House, but Republican support is especially important given that some conservative Democrats previously joined Republicans in opposing the state’s domestic partnership law.
The state’s 60-day legislative session began on Monday.