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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

Washington’s Senate approves marriage equality legislation after long debate

Won­der­ful, won­der­ful news to cel­e­brate tonight: After a debate that stretched for more than an hour and a half, and saw the adop­tion and rejec­tion of more than a dozen amend­ments, Wash­ing­ton’s state Sen­ate has vot­ed to approve leg­is­la­tion mak­ing mar­riage equal­i­ty the law of the land.

The vote was twen­ty-eight to twen­ty-one. Four Repub­li­cans joined near­ly all Democ­rats in vot­ing yes in favor of the bill, SB 6239, prime spon­sored by Sen­a­tor Ed Mur­ray and request­ed by Gov­er­nor Chris Gregoire.

The roll call was as follows:

Vot­ing Yea: Sen­a­tors Brown, Chase, Con­way, Eide, Fain, Fras­er, Frockt, Harp­er, Hat­field, Hau­gen, Hill, Hobbs, Kas­ta­ma, Keis­er, Kilmer, Kline, Kohl-Welles, Lit­zow, McAu­li­ffe, Mur­ray, Nel­son, Pflug, Pren­tice, Pride­more, Ranker, Regala, Rolfes, and Tom

Vot­ing Nay: Sen­a­tors Baum­gart­ner, Beck­er, Ben­ton, Car­rell, Delvin, Erick­sen, Har­grove, Hewitt, Holmquist New­bry, Hon­ey­ford, King, Mor­ton, Pad­den, Par­lette, Roach, Schoesler, Shel­don, Shin, Stevens, Sweck­er, and Zarelli

The Repub­li­cans who vot­ed in favor of mar­riage equal­i­ty were Joe Fain, Andy Hill, Steve Lit­zow, and Cheryl Pflug. The Democ­rats who vot­ed against were Jim Har­grove, Paull Shin, and Tim Sheldon.

In a state­ment fol­low­ing the pas­sage of the bill, Mur­ray thanked his col­leagues and all who have worked to help make today’s vote a reality.

“The cit­i­zens of Wash­ing­ton state have come to under­stand that les­bian and gay fam­i­lies are their neigh­bors and their friends,” Mur­ray said. “We share the same short moment of life. We like you seek the chance to live our lives, to expe­ri­ence joy, to care for our fam­i­lies, to con­tribute to our fam­i­lies and to the nation we love.”

Gov­er­nor Chris Gre­goire — who watched the vote from the wings of the Sen­ate cham­ber — released a state­ment con­grat­u­lat­ing the Sen­ate for approv­ing SB 6239.

“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. I believe that this deci­sion should be made by our state Leg­is­la­ture, and I’m proud our elect­ed lead­ers rec­og­nized that respon­si­bil­i­ty. Tonight we saw the best of Wash­ing­ton and our lead­ers. They were respect­ful and they were kind. I thank Sen­a­tor Ed Mur­ray for his leadership.”

“This vote was coura­geous and was only pos­si­ble with bipar­ti­san sup­port. That sup­port shows Washington’s com­mit­ment to equality.”

“Fair-mind­ed and respon­si­ble lead­ers craft­ed a bill that pro­tects reli­gious free­doms while ensur­ing equal rights. I com­mend our state Sen­a­tors who acknowl­edged tonight that sep­a­rate but equal is not equal.”

“Tonight our fam­i­lies are bet­ter for this vote. Our kids have a brighter future for this bill. And our state is bet­ter for this bill. I encour­age the House to approve this bill and get it to my desk for my sig­na­ture. I look for­ward to the day when all Wash­ing­ton cit­i­zens have equal oppor­tu­ni­ty to mar­ry the per­son they love.”

This post will be updat­ed with more details as the evening goes on.

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  1. Sad­ly, my sen­a­tor did not vote for.

    I guess that is some­thing that will have to be cor­rect­ed next elec­tion time, Mike.

    That makes sev­er­al things now you do not rep­re­sent me on.


    # by Tomas - University Place, WA :: February 1st, 2012 at 8:57 PM
  2. It is dis­ap­point­ing that this vote is cel­e­brat­ed. For these tem­po­rary law­mak­ers to vote for such a per­ma­nent change to our soci­ety is bla­tant leg­isla­tive tyran­ny. And for them to fail to exempt peo­ple like pho­tog­ra­phers and wed­ding plan­ners, florists, etc. from par­tic­i­pat­ing in cer­i­monies on the objec­tion­al grounds of reli­gious beliefs is shame­ful. No one should cel­e­brate tyran­ny. A vote of the peo­ple on such an impor­tant issue would have been the way to go.

    # by Terry :: February 3rd, 2012 at 10:50 AM
  3. If giv­ing all cit­i­zens equal rights equals tyran­ny, then give me more of it!

    # by Luke T :: February 7th, 2012 at 1:39 PM

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  1. […] Washington’s Sen­ate approves mar­riage equal­i­ty leg­is­la­tion after long debate […]

    Ping from Morning Rundown for February 2nd, 2012 :: February 2nd, 2012 at 10:14 AM
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