Wash. Senate votes on same-sex marriage bill
OLYMPIA — In a 28-21 vote the Washington State Senate passed a bill extending marriage rights to same-sex couples late Wednesday, in what was expected to be the biggest hurdle toward passage for the bill.
Read the Washington Blade’s full report here.
The bill, which is supported by the governor, and is expected to pass easily in the lower house, was thought to face its most difficult prospects in the Washington Senate where it was supported by the slimmest of majorities.
With 49 senators, the bill needed at least 25 votes to pass, which it received. The Blade reported earlier this month that 25 senators had pledged to vote in favor of the bill in the Senate.
“Marriage in Washington State has tremendous momentum behind it and we’re optimistic going into [the] vote,” Human Rights Campaign communications director Michael Cole-Schwartz told the Blade Wednesday.
Anti-gay lawmaker asked to leave restaurant
KNOXVILLE — Tennessee Sen. Stacey Campfield — the sponsor of several anti-gay bills, including the infamous “Don’t Say Gay” bill — has responded with a furious post to his personal blog after being asked to leave a Knoxville restaurant because of his record.
The Nashville Scene website reported that the lawmaker was denied service at the Bistro at the Bijou located on Gay Street by restaurant owner Martha Boggs.
“I didn’t want his hate in my restaurant,” Boggs told Metro Pulse, a Scripps publication. “I told him he wasn’t welcome here. … I feel like he’s gone from being stupid to being dangerous, and I wanted to stand up to him.”
Last week Campfield appeared on the Michelangelo Signorile radio show, and shocked listeners by claiming that HIV is “virtually impossible” to transmit through heterosexual sex.
“My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but virtually — impossible to contract AIDS through heterosexual sex… very rarely [transmitted],” Campfield said on Sirius satellite radio. “What’s the average lifespan of a homosexual? It’s very short. Google it yourself.”
Newark mayor slams Gov. Christie
NEWARK — Responding to a call by N.J. Gov. Chris Christie to put same-sex marriage up for a vote in the Garden State, the mayor of the state’s largest city told reporters “we should not be putting civil rights issues to a popular vote subject to the sentiments of the day.”
“No minority should have their rights subject to the passions and sentiments of the majority,” Newark Mayor Corey Booker told reporters at a press conference last week. “This is a fundamental bedrock of what our nation stands for. And I get very concerned that we have created in our state, we refuse to address, call it like it is… that we’ve created a second-class citizenship in our state.”
LGBT group to Colbert: reenter GOP race
WASHINGTON — Catholics for Equality, an organization of pro-gay Catholics, is calling on comedian Stephen Colbert to reenter the GOP primary.
Colbert briefly flirted with the idea of entering the GOP primaries and held a rally in South Carolina in mid-January prior to that state’s primary vote, but was unable to qualify for the ballot. Catholics for Equality is calling on fellow Catholic Stephen Colbert to restart his primary campaign, saying his views reflect the views of most mainstream Catholics.
“Colbert is the only Republican Catholic contender who reflects comprehensive Catholic social justice teaching,” the group said in a press release.