February 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm EST | by Phil Reese
Washington House passes same-sex marriage
Christine Gregoire, gay news, gay politics dc

‘Washington State 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,’ said Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire. (photo by Evan Derickson)

OLYMPIA — In a 55-43 vote, the Washington State House of Representatives passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, sending the bill to the governor for promised signature.

The Senate passed the bill 28-21 last week and floor debate on the bill was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon in the lower house where the bill was expected to find wide support, according to media reports.

After the bill’s success in the Senate, Gov. Christine Gregoire declared, “tonight Washington State 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.”

Though the governor has promised her signature, the law is likely to face a referendum, postponing wedded bliss for same-sex couples until after election day.

In 2009, a referendum approving an expansion of rights for same-sex couples was passed by voters after opponents attempted to derail the legislative move. With today’s vote, Washington becomes the first state to reverse a “Defense of Marriage Act” like state law, according to Pam’s House Blend.


  • ‘Marriage’ is a sacred union between a man and a woman. It will never be anything else. Don’t destroy what God has created, by applying it to anything other than a marriage between a man and a woman. Find your own word, to describe your union with a same sex partner.

    • The crux of the argument regarding marriage equality is going to come down to a simple concept which is “enrichment.” If you want to exclude individuals from participating in an institution, then you can’t enhance the lot of those that you allow in if participation is the only access to those benefits.

      So, if you want to keep marriage between one man and one woman? Then simply eliminate any benefits that are bestowed because of it. Ironic, but DOMA actually makes marriage more vulnerable to same sex participation as we will soon see.

      I think we can all guess how quickly the marriage barrier will fall if the only way to keep it “sacred” is to give up all the state and federal tax breaks, rights of survivorship, social security enhancements, etc. that the government has bestowed on it. It’s a modern day dowry. Funny how the grace of God alone isn’t enough incentive.

  • “Sacred unions” only occur in a house of worhship, not in City Hall.

  • I am a New Yorker, but most of my relatives are Washingtonians, and I am so very pleased to have both of my beloved states within the fold of equality. Thank you, Washington!

  • Worry about your own marriage Susie Lee.

  • Susie, its 2012 get over it already. Are you married to a man? Kids? Family? How does a marriage between two people from the same sex have an effect on your life? Please answer that.

  • @Susie Lee: I agree with you. As a gay man, I think civil unions are perfect. With regards to Washington, there will be a state-wide referendum and the right to marry will be overturned.

    • Laurelboy,
      You must be a lawyer. A new institution (civil union) will require duplication of 200 years of legal precident to resolve its many issues. You can multiply the legal issues by 50 for all the States, plus the District of Columbia, plus the Federal Government as well (which grants the 1,000+ financial benefits of marriage). AND this new institution will still be, and has already been, challenged by those who believe “civil unions” would hurt their own precarious “marriage.”

  • @Todd Sanders: I’ll comment on your question to Susie Lee. It affects me and you in multiple ways. Among other negative consequences, it opens the door to legalizing polygamy and any other form of union, many of which would make me, and I suspect you, barf. With regard to polygamy, there’s already a legal challenge raised in Utah and the floodgates are opening…

    • Laurelboy,
      Your comment on “opening the door” reminds me of my own German great-grandparents’ intense concern over opening the door to southern European immigration. They were appalled over the garlic-eating immigrants flooding America! If they had their way, there would be none of the wonderful Italian dishes in America today.

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