Washington State Passes Marriage Equality After 55-43 House Vote

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Washington

Washington state has passed marriage equality after a 55-43 vote in the House. The bill now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire who introduced the bill for signature.

In 90 days, gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry — just like their straight family members, friends and neighbors.

Washington now becomes the seventh state to allow gay couples legal marriage.

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9 Responses to Washington State Passes Marriage Equality After 55-43 House Vote

  1. Randy Arroyo says:

    I’m very happy for my friends in Seattle. Washington joins Massachusetts and New York and five other civilized states who treat their gay and lesbian residents equally. Meanwhile, 800 miles south of Washington lies California. Once the most liberal state in the nation. Despite the fact that Prop 8 was deemed unconstitutional by the US District Court, the stay blocking same-sex marriage remains in place. I want out of this psych ward. California is a lost cause.

  2. Tiny Dancer says:

    Maggie Gallagher is on suicide watch.

  3. feminazi says:

    This is splendid news!

  4. Estacada says:

    “Thank you to the Washington State House–a civil, respectful debate on marriage equality. And a 55-43 vote! Next stop, my desk!” – Gov. Chris Gregoire (D-WA)

    Cool!

  5. Joe in Colorado says:

    The Pacific Northwest has always marched to the beat of its own drummer. Washington is a far more gay-friendly place for LGBT people in 2012 than is California. Passing marriage makes sense and is a reflection on Washington’s commitment as a fair-minded place. The old battle between Washington and California to see who is more liberal is over and Washington won. California’s political system of referendum measures means the state is no longer governable.

  6. Rachel says:

    Way to go Washington! This is the kind of news I like to see in the morning!

  7. Jim says:

    That is so fantastic! A wonderful city to begin with, and now this incredible news!

  8. DMason says:

    Washingtonians should be very proud of their state. This is a major step toward full equality and one more reason why DOMA — which Bill Clinton cowardly signed, needs to be repealed.

  9. fran says:

    Reuters reports: The measure will not take effect before early June. Opponents have vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November, but they cannot begin collecting signatures for a petition to overturn the measure by referendum until it is signed into law.
    Gregoire, in a statement issued after Wednesday’s vote, said Washington state would “no longer deny our citizens the opportunity to marry the person they love.”

    “We tell every child of same-sex couples that their family is every bit as equal and important as all other families in our state,” she said.
    Still, the measure cannot take effect before June 7, three months after the conclusion of the legislative session.

    In the meantime, opponents of same-sex matrimony said they would seek to overturn the legislation via one of two ballot measures — a referendum for repeal or an initiative defining marriage as the exclusive domain of heterosexual couples.

    The initiative would need 241,153 signatures of registered voters by July 6 to secure a place on the November ballot. A repeal would need just half the number of signatures by June 6.

    If a repeal referendum qualifies for the November ballot, the gay marriage law would be suspended until the election and certification of returns, meaning December 6, before it is either repealed or goes into effect.

    But qualification of a proposed initiative defining matrimony as restricted to one man and one woman would not, in and of itself, prevent gay marriages from proceeding under the newly passed statute starting on June 7.

    It remains unclear whether gay weddings performed in the interim would be nullified if an initiative were to pass in November.

    There is precedent in California for handling such a situation. California’s Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2008, only to see voters approve a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex matrimony six months later.

    The state’s high court later upheld the gay marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, but ruled that 18,000 same-sex weddings officiated between May and November 2008 were still legal.

    Whoah! Does this make your head spin too?
    A little difficult to be celebratory with all these exceptions, legal gobbledly gook and roadblocks in place.
    This sounded so good!—
    Washington state would “no longer deny our citizens the opportunity to marry the person they love.”

    “We tell every child of same-sex couples that their family is every bit as equal and important as all other families in our state,” she said.

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