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Washington Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill

Washington Senate Passes Marriage Equality Bill

 

The Washington state Senate on Wednesday voted to pass a marriage equality bill by a margin of 28-21.

From USA Today:

The packed public galleries burst into applause as the Senate passed the measure on a 28-21 vote Wednesday night after nearly an hour and a half of debate. Four Republicans crossed party lines and voted with majority Democrats for the measure. Three Democrats voted against it.

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, the bill’s sponsor, said he knew same-sex marriage “is as contentious any issue that this body has considered in its history.”

Lawmakers who vote against gay marriage “are not, nor should they be accused of bigotry” he said.

“Those of us who support this legislation are not, and we should not be accused of, undermining family life or religious freedom,” said Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has spearheaded past gay rights and domestic partnership laws in the state. “Marriage is how society says you are a family.”

An amendment to put the bill to a public referendum was voted down 26-23.

Gov. Gregoire, who in January placed her full support behind marriage equality legislation, praised the vote as “the best” of Washington, saying, “Tonight we saw the best of Washington and our leaders. Tonight, the Washington State Senate stood up for what is right and told all families in our state that they are equal and that the state cannot be in the business of discrimination.”

The legislation now heads before the state House where a strong Democratic majority is expected  to pass the measure.

Gay marriage foes are already planning to put marriage equality to a public vote. Opponents will require 120, 577 signatures by July 6 in order to qualify for the November ballot but can only file their ballot proposal after the legislation has been passed.

Related Reading:

Microsoft Supports Marriage Equality in Washington

WA Lawyer Moves to Repeal Gay Marriage (Before It’s Even Been Legalized)

GOP Senator Supports Washington Marriage Equality Bill

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Photo used under the MorgueFile user license, with thanks to mensatic.

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37 comments

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5:49PM PST on Feb 5, 2012

It doesn't hurt anyone that mature and healthy adults all get to share equal benefits from having social recognition of their closest relationships. Keep it coming, Washington!

6:39AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

Nothing in this new law forces YOU to marry anyone of the same sex,Luv Y. Nor does it force your church or another to perform same sex marriages. What this new law does is acknowlage the rights of people who don't share your beliefs concerning marriage without in any way violating any of your rights.

12:51AM PST on Feb 5, 2012

I agree Christopher - they ARE bigots who voted against it. But I am glad it got passed. Yeah, Washington!

11:33PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Thank you.

10:35PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

I'm over the moon on this one !!!
But i also made sure i let all my legislators know what i wanted, as this was to important to leave to chance.
WHOOHOOOO Dotti, we did it !!!

9:49PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

It may have been close, but it did pass. A reminder that there are more people in the world who believe in fairness, justice, and equality that there are who don't.

9:07PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Close call, 28-21 that could've been a 25-25 tie. Will it one day be 100% in favour of the Marriage Equality Act?

4:11PM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Until sometime during the "dot com" boom , I and my partner of 30+ years lived in Washington state. I remember even back then (~1993) , the "Hands off Washington" campaign for gay rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_for_Fairness_Hands_Off_Washington
[...In 1993, The Oregon Citizens Alliance attempted to influence Washington politics by gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would have restricted the civil rights of GLBT citizens in Washington State. The Citizens for Fairness/Hands Off Washington campaign was a grassroots gay rights effort that repelled this attempt, casting the OCA as an Oregonian organization trying to manipulate Washington State politics...]

Still a ways to go , but look at the difference between then and now.

10:22AM PST on Feb 4, 2012

Yeah. I am happy to call myself a Washingtonian.
We are one step closer to getting gay marriage into law.

8:55PM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Great news! Can't wait for CA to get with it, already, sheeesh!

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