BREAKING: Washington State Has Enough Votes To Pass Gay Marriage!

Good news from the Northwest: state Senator Mary Margaret Haugen has come out in support of the gay-marriage bill, which fulfills the 25 yes votes needed to pass the measure, reports the AP.

In a written statement, Sen. Haugen said she took extra time to make a decision on the vote in order “to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy. This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor.”

If the bill passes in this session of the legislature, which it will because the House, the Senate, and Gov. Chris Gregoire all support the measure, gays will be able to wed by June—unless opponents file a referendum to oppose it. They would need to turn in 120,577 signatures by July 6 to do that.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #chrisgregoire #marymargarethaugen #washingtonstate stories and more


  • Isaac C

    Finally all those gay open relationships in Washington will be recognized by the state. Wonderful.

  • Steve

    What are the odds of the Mormons gathering 120,577 signatures by July 6 ?

  • Brandon H

    I wouldn’t put it past the Mormons or the Catholics “finding” the 120,000 signatures they need. They have a knack for pulling stuff out of their asses.

  • CBRad

    @Brandon H: Uh….and not the Protestants ?

  • Chuck

    I believe Catholics are more tolerant of gays than most protestant religions, having been a member of each of these.

  • Badger

    Awesome! Sadly, I do think the right-wingers will get enough signatures to force the referendum. But at least the vote will be on the November Presidential ballot. Now I know we’ve had terrible luck at the ballot box in the past, so I’m not calling it a sure thing, but a high turnout offers the best chance to offset the anti-gay crowd.

  • scribe31

    @Isaac C: wtf???

  • WillBFair

    Oh my. The referendum would be on the presidential ballot? I just hope and pray this issue in no way harms the Obamatron.
    That said, this is wonderful news. Who knew this would sail through so easily. Probably the queens at Equal Rights Washington knew. And kisses to them.

  • Danny

    During a presidential election way more younger people show up to vote.

  • hyhybt

    So: they can start gathering signatures whenever this is signed, but regardless of when they begin they must be finished by July 6? Good. Line everything up and then sign it at the last moment :)

  • S in Seattle

    @hyhybt: Nice thinking, but this legislative session is only 2 months long. At minimum that gives those seeking a referendum 4 months to gather the necessary signatures (most likely ~5 months). A referendum is inevitable barring some kind of extraordinary circumstance and our efforts are best spent winning at the polls in November– not fighting to stop this issue from appearing on the ballot.

  • CBRad

    @Chuck: Don’t ever move to the NYC gay ghetto with that attitude! They’ll scream at you for breaking the Rules, by just saying that, so hard they’ll be spitting.

  • iDavid

    Even if it goes on the ballot, Wa residents are pro gay marriage over 53% and against in the mid 30’s. It all looks very good for stabilizing gay marriage in WA.

  • CJ

    Are we going to end up with a California Prop 8 situation here possibly?

    In short, you have a lot of gays getting married this summer (after the law is passed by the legislature)…. only to later have a state-wide vote POSSIBLY end any additional marriages?? Sort of a gap like California experienced.

  • Spencer

    This is so sad. Where are your morals people?!

  • S in Seattle

    @CJ: If a referendum is filed against against a law in WA and reaches the required number of valid signatures it postpones the enactment (or not) of the law until after an election has been held. In other words, there won’t be any gay marriages in WA until at least early 2013.

  • Stefan


    Support is actually at 55%

  • Stefan

    In regards to California vs. today, remember this:

    -it was 4 years ago

    -No on 8 ran a horrible campaign

  • hyhybt

    @Rainfish2000: Better to vote for the less worse candidate, whether he really deserves it or not, than to get the more worse one because you stayed home or threw your vote away.

    Given the choice between a candidate who has shown he will not defend DOMA and one who has pledged to oppose everything gay every step of the way including trying for an anti-marriage amendment and ignoring any court decisions he doesn’t like (Gingrich, in other words) would you *really* not prefer the former?

    More on-topic: Washington at least has a good shot. Relatively liberal state, already has “everything but marriage” passed by popular vote, and it will be on the ballot in the general election. Meanwhile, of course, North Carolina is cheating by holding the vote on their amendment during the primary, when only Republicans have any other reason at all to show up to vote.

  • Rainfish2000

    No. 20 • hyhybt In case you forget, Obama’s (in)Justice Dept. defended DOMA (as well as DADT) for over two years — even after those abominations were repeatedly struck down by federal courts. Yet Obama still appealed those decisions until he realized he was losing his liberal supporters (witness the 2010 massacre in Congress). Yes, what exactly did Obama do in regards to DOMA and DADT that Bush wouldn’t have done — except for Obama finally pushing a severely watered-down repeal of DADT (which he stripped bare of any anti-discrimination language) and which can be brought back at the whim of any future president. Obama should have let the last federal court decision stand instead of begging the court to declare their own favorable decision moot while he and a Democratic-controlled Congress in the eleventh hour pushed their insulting half-ass “repeal” on America’s Gay and Lesbian service men and women.

    As far as DOMA is concerned, it is doubtful that Pelosi would have hired a House lawyer to continue defending DOMA — unlike the current Speaker of the House. So, that begs the question: why did Obama fight tooth and nail to defend DOMA when he had NO constitutional obligation to do so — especially when his own party in power did not, allegedly, wish to see it continue? Every president before him used their own discretion to chose to defend laws which Congress passed or decided not defend those laws if the Justice Department deemed those laws indefensible on constitutional grounds. That includes the two Bushes, Clinton, etc…going back to Roosevelt and beyond. So, no, Obama could have put the kibosh on DOMA early on (especially after the Massachusetts case went against him and his homophobes at the DOJ)– yet, he and his lackeys at the DOJ continued to defend discrimination against us. Now, DOMA legislatively is in Republican hands thanks to Obama.

    Obama has a lot to answer for when he actively worked against our best interests. The Democrats and Nancy Pelosi already did that in November 2010. I expect a mea culpa, and a damn good one at the DNC convention later this year or the Dems are going to be in serious trouble after taking a collective dump on the GLBT community for so long.

    Just remember, the abolition of sodomy laws nationwide came down from a Republican dominated Supreme Court and marriage equality laws were passed in several states in spite of GW Bush. So, if Obama is still planning on using that old horseshit chestnut about “let the states decide (which I’m sure he would not have agreed to regarding his own mother’s mixed race marriage) then please give any of us in the GLBT community one good goddamn reason to vote for him or any other Democrat beyond the state level.

    Human rights and civil equality trumps everything. Jobs mean nothing if you can be fired from them for simply being Gay, and also be told that your spouse must be considered less than a total stranger to you under the law. If this country does not stand up for its most vulnerable citizens and for its own Bill of Rights, then nothing in the next election really matters that much.

    A plague on both their houses. If we have to fight for our freedom, state by state and then ultimately through the courts, one court at a time…. if it takes another generation of struggle and heartbreak — then so be it. Who needs them. Obama is a spineless political weather-vane no matter how you look at it. So, nothing really lost there anyway.

  • Daez

    @Spencer: My morals tell me to love everyone equally and treat them fairly. They have nothing to do with a few misquoted lines from a book that is 2000+ years old.

  • Daez

    @Rainfish2000: When will you learn that American politics is always a choice between the lesser of two evils. Would you rather have Obama in office or Newt Gingrich (or even Mitt Romney). One signed the repeal of DADT while the others would have lobbied to keep it and still want to return it. One expanded the rights of hospital visitation and benefits for federal employees while the others would like to undo that. One refused to defend DOMA while the others would love to pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Sure, go ahead and vote for Mitt or Newt and see just how messed up what you actually wrote really is.

  • Bob

    Separation of Church and State!!!

    This should never have been an issue for her!

    “to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy. This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor.”

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Spencer: You are SO right; truly it is IMMORAL and UNAMERICAN to deny any citizen their God-given rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” [[Hey troll, go away!]]

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Bob: You misunderstand the use and appropriateness of “Separation of Church and State.” The notion of separation of Church and State is the requirement of the First Amendment that Congress (and interpreted by the SCOTUS to mean all levels of local/state/federal government), that government, not individuals, are precluded from endorsing any religious requirements on citizens.

    Certainly that means that government cannot establish a governmental church, such as the Church of England, or the Danish Church, etc. The first amendment also requires that all citizens, including members fo government, are free to exercise their own concepts of their own religion.

    Thus, Washington State may not establish a church, may not inflict the rules of any church, BUT Washington State legislators are entitled to use any of their privileges, the free exercise of religion, in their own daily work/family/social lives.

  • Gigi

    Oh they’ll be filing a referendum and NOM will help them get all of the signatures that they need! What a messed up country this is!!

  • Gigi

    @Rainfish2000: I couldn’t be bothered to real your entire rant but if you’re saying you’ll vote for the Rethugs because Obama didn’t do everything that you wanted him to then you’re downright pathetic. Like THEY will do any more for you!

  • Robert in NYC

    Isn’t it a lot harder to overturn laws enacted by the legislatures, rather than direct intervention by the courts? If our foes go through with this, then we should agitate to get a ballot to remove tax-exemption from any religious cult fueling opposition and donating vast amounts of money to influence the outcome in their favor. It’s nothing more than interfering in the political process. This is a purely civil matter and has nothing to do with religious marriage. It’s about time the state stopped issuing marriage licenses for religious marriages. Let them issue their own.

  • Rainfish2000

    @Gigi: Typical sycophant lemming response. Obviously you shouldn’t comment on something if it hurts your lips too much to read the full context. Nowhere do I state that I would support a Republican — unless he or she was pro-civil rights — same goes for Democrats. You’re a pathetic reactionary.


    @Daez … who wrote: “Sure, go ahead and vote for Mitt or Newt and see just how messed up what you actually wrote really is.”


    Obviously, GIGI and DAEZ share stupid in common. Always the predictable Obot ass-kissing response: OBAMA GOOD (even when he throws shit at you)…EVERYONE ELSE BAD.

    Things are really simple in your world. In your simplistic monosyllabic reality, anyone who doesn’t support Obama is automatically a supporter of Mittens or the Grinch. “IT’S US AGAINST THEM — or else!” That’s no different than the mob-mentality that gave us PROP 8 in California.

    Look, you have your fucked-up opinions and I have my carefully crafted ones. Let’s leave it at that. I could care less about commenting on anything you write here in this thread — unless you attack my right to hold my own opinion, that is. Make your own case without attacking others personally and you might actually have something useful to contribute.

  • hyhybt

    @Rainfish2000: So what *are* your intentions, come November? Sit out the election entirely? Vote for a third party candidate, which is the same thing as sitting it out? Vote FOR Newt/Mitt? Or vote for “a spineless political weathervane?”

    Of the choices that actually exist, the last one still is least worse, even taking your description as 100% fair and accurate.

  • Rainfish2000

    @hyhybt: I haven’t decided yet. Depends on how Obama’s “evolving” on marriage equality goes. If his “evolution” is still stuck in the Stone Age, I might have to go elsewhere as a matter of conscience. Maybe the Green Party.

    PS – Thank you for your civily worded question. Others could learn from your example.

  • hyhybt

    No point in being uncivil; it just aggravates people and makes them close their ears :) Sometimes, though, the temptation is too strong.

  • Phantom

    Yay!!!!!!! I just hope it does not get overturn.

  • curt

    I don’t understand how you can get a referendum on someone’s marraige? Is that being second class or what? Why should voters be able to decide that two consenting adults should be able to marry or not. That’s grossly unfair! Supporters must fight if they want to be equal.

  • CaliberGuy

    @CJ: No for one thing if a referendum is submitted (they have to submit the paperwork before the signature) the law will be put on hold ether until the opposition failed to produce enough valid signatures of registered voters.

    However it is not likely to turn out as another prop8 for one thing no matter who submits the referendum it is always Yes to support keeping the law and NO to reject the law. Not only that but the majority of washingtonians polled said they would vote to keep any such law with the strongly support much higher then those who would oppose the law.

  • fyi

    Fingers crossed…

  • Jay

    I still think the best approach is the libertarian one, get the government out of licensing or registering relationships and just enforce private domestic contracts. Make such all rights currently enjoyed by married people can be contracted for though. I’m glad gay people have equal rights in Washington though. The change is only symbolic though. They already have a Domestic Partner law that gives all the same benefits of marriage, so its just really a name change. Call it a domestic partnership, marriage, civil union if the rights and benefits are the same they are the same. Call it a donut, the rights are the issue not the name.

Comments are closed.