Washington House passes gay-marriage bill

The only thing left is Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire’s signature.

Legislation legalizing gay marriage is on its way to the governor after passing the state House by a 55-43 vote on Wednesday.

Gregoire, who supports the measure and watched as lawmakers voted, has five days to sign the bill after it’s sent to her office. She’s expected to announce Thursday when she’ll sign the measure.

There was never any doubt the legislation would be approved in the House. More than 50 lawmakers announced support for the bill before it came up for a vote.

The biggest hurdle was the state Senate, which has conservative Democrats opposed to the measure. Even there, it passed last week with a 28-21 vote.

Gay marriage wins final legislative approval in Washington state

Reuters, By Nicole Neroulias, February 8

Olympia, WA – A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state won final legislative approval on Wednesday in a largely party-line vote that moved the state to the cusp of becoming the seventh in the nation to recognize same-sex nuptials.

Washington’s Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire said she looked forward to signing the measure and “putting into law an end to an era of discrimination” even as opponents, led by religious conservatives, vowed to seek its repeal at the polls in November.

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  • New York Times, By Kate Zernike, February 13

    TRENTON — The New Jersey State Senate voted on Monday to legalize same-sex marriage, a significant shift in support from two years ago, when a similar measure failed.

    The legislation faces a vote on Thursday in the State Assembly, but even if that chamber passes the measure, as expected, Gov. Chris Christie, who favors holding a referendum on the issue, has said he will veto it.

    But advocates hailed the Senate vote as a huge advance, noting that they won 10 more votes than they did two years ago. And both supporters and opponents said they were surprised by the margin: the bill needed 21 votes to succeed and passed 24 to 16.

    “The margin brought the notion of an override out of fantasyland,” said Steven Goldstein, chairman of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group. “Before today, I would have said the chances of an override were one in a million. Now I’d say it’s about one in two.”


    Most significantly, supporters won the support of the Senate president, Stephen M. Sweeney, who abstained from voting two years ago. He has since called that the biggest mistake of his political life, and is the bill’s chief proponent. As the tally was flashed on a board above the Senate chamber, Senator Sweeney, a Democrat from Gloucester County, thrust a thumbs-up in the air.

    “These are human beings with feelings that love their partners and they want to be married,” he said. “So be it.”

  • Raw Story, By Eric W. Dolan, March 1

    Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) signed legislation on Thursday that grants same sex couples all the marriage rights currently enjoyed by opposite sex couples.

    “Religious freedom was the very reason for our State’s founding,” he said in a statement. “At the heart of religious freedom is the freedom of individual conscience.

    “If there is a thread that unites the story of our people, it is the thread of human dignity; the dignity of work; the dignity of family; the dignity of every child’s home; the dignity of every individual,” O’Malley added. “We are One Maryland, and all of us, at the end of the day, want the same thing for our children: to live in a loving, stable, committed home protected equally under the law.”

    Maryland is now the eighth state to have legalized same sex marriages.


    The New Jersey legislature also recently approved same sex legislation, but it was vetoed by Republican Gov. Chris Christie.

  • The governor of the US state of Maryland has signed legislation legalising gay marriage, making it the eighth US state to adopt the measure.

    The law, passed by state lawmakers in February, takes effect in January 2013.

    Opponents of the measure said they would gather the 56,000 signatures needed to mount a challenge to the bill at November’s elections.


    Always keep an open mind and a compassionate heart. ~ Phil Jackson

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