Skip to comments.Gay marriage within reach in Wash. (State) Legislature
Posted on 01/12/2012 2:00:41 PM PST by NYer
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) The Legislature is on the verge of having enough support to make Washington the seventh state to approve gay marriage, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
A same-sex marriage bill is expected to be introduced by the end of the week. The AP reached out to all 49 state senators over the past week and found that more lawmakers are firmly supporting gay marriage than opposing it, by a margin of 22-18.
The measure needs 25 votes to pass the Senate. The House is widely expected to have enough support, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed gay marriage for the first time last week.
Four Democrats say they are considering whether to support it, including one who is leaning in favor. A pair of Republicans is among those supporting the proposal, and two first-term GOP members said they are still discussing the issue with constituents.
Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has for years led efforts to approve same-sex marriage, said that he's "50 percent optimistic" it will pass. He noted that he saw a gay civil rights measure he spearheaded lose by one vote in 2005 before it passed by a single vote the following year.
"I can't declare victory," he said. "I don't think we'll know we have the votes until we actually vote."
Of the undecided Democrats, Sen. Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell said she was likely to support the measure but not yet willing to commit.
Three members who have previously cast votes against expanding options for gay couples Sens. Brian Hatfield of Raymond, Jim Kastama of Puyallup and Paull Shin of Edmonds said they were considering supporting gay marriage.
Hatfield said it was an issue he was grappling with because he understands the opinions on both sides. He has become a devoted Christian in recent years but also talks with liberal groups. He said that he was simply "torn" by the debate and the backlash sure to come no matter what his decision is.
"The supporters of the bill determine you're a 'hateful bigot' if you vote no, while the opponents question your faith and say you're 'turning your back on God' if you vote yes," Hatfield said.
Hatfield and Shin both opposed a domestic partnership law in 2009. Kastama, who voted in 1998 to define marriage as between one man and one woman, supported the 2009 law and said he is now exploring what has happened in states that have approved gay marriage and is hearing arguments from both sides.
The two Republican senators who are now supporting gay marriage Steve Litzow of Mercer Island and Cheryl Pflug of Maple Valley said the issue was a matter of equality.
"I don't feel diminished when another human being is allowed to exercise the same rights that I enjoy," Pflug said. "I would feel diminished if I voted to deny others the right to exercise those same rights and freedoms."
Two first-term Republicans representing suburban districts Sens. Joe Fain of Auburn and Andy Hill of Redmond also left open the possibility of supporting the bill, saying they want to discuss the issue with constituents. They declined to say whether they were leaning in any direction.
Democratic Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen of Camano Island said she wasn't willing to support anything that didn't allow a vote of the people.
Murray said that each undecided lawmaker he has talked with on the issue "has a very difficult personal struggle."
"This isn't a policy debate, or something you can trade a vote for," he said. "It's such a personal decision."
Two Democrats are among the 18 declared "no" votes on the gay marriage proposal. Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, previously supported domestic partnerships but said he wasn't willing to go further.
"I would not support changing the definition of marriage," he said.
The increased collection of support, mirroring shifts in public opinion on gay marriage, is coming 15 years after lawmakers overrode a governor's veto to pass a law defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Since then, lawmakers have expanded gay rights, including the state's initial domestic partnership law passed in 2007 and the final expansion of that law so-called "everything but marriage" in 2009 that was later upheld by voters.
Gay marriage is legal in six states.
Some Democratic supporters of gay marriage said they felt a sense of urgency to get gay marriage through the Legislature this year, in case Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna wins in November. McKenna has said he opposes same-sex marriage.p xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom" xmlns:apcm="http://ap.org/schemas/03/2005/apcm" xmlns:apnm="http://ap.org/schemas/03/2005/apnm">"This is a window of opportunity," Kline said. "For that very reason, it's going to be an all-out push."
All to promote the false belief that gays are miserable only because their perversion is not accepted.
A religious ceremony is now a human right because those who marry are generous enough to involve the government when they marry?
And again, another perfect example of why Republican doesn't always mean conservative.
yet another state which has not allowed the voters to decide on this issue.
Lets face it.
The north east and the west coast are like another country compared to us down south and the midwest.
Part of me was honestly surprised the vote looks to be so close. It’s easy to forget that Washington state is (politically speaking) more than just Seattle and the rest of the I-5 corridor.
My suspicion is that those not volunteering their position are against gay marriage...though I have no solid proof.
Prayers up that Washington will do the right thing in the end.
How many, if any, of the state’s legislators voting on this are Catholic, or at least ostensibly so? Have the local dioceses been active against this? I realize the overall political reputation on the Pacific Northwest, but haven’t done more than fly over it, returning from Japan.
Anyway, it cannot be marriage. It can be pretending to be a marriage, as well as gravely sinful mockery. But that’s it.
A similar scenario plays itself out in the State of New York. Democrats hold NYC, Buffalo, Albany and a few other major cities. The rest of the state is solid conservative. Unfortunately, we both reside in states where the perception is different from the reality.
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Fervently hoping it does not pass. When the actual VOTERS get to vote, they have always said "NO!"
So-called “Gay marriage” will not be within reach in Wash. (State) Legislature:
The governor and the legislature will be neutered by “We, the people”:
By Lornet Turnbull, Seattle Times staff reporter (1/9/12):
“As the Legislature prepares to take up a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, a gay-marriage opponent on Monday filed an initiative in an attempt to ensure the issue is brought before voters in November, should lawmakers approve it.
The filing by Everett attorney Stephen Pidgeon comes a week after Gov. Chris Gregoire said she would propose same-sex marriage legislation for Washington state.
The proposed initiative, not yet numbered, would reaffirm the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between “a male” and “a female.” The initiative seeks to slightly tweak the statute’s language, changing it to “one man” and “one woman.””
“When the actual VOTERS get to vote, they have always said ‘NO!’ “
To the Authoritarian Left, We the People are They the Impediments to “Progress”. We the People no longer have any say in anything.