The Pacific Northwest has always been a little bit more progressive than the rest of the country (remember Kurt Cobain in drag?) and this week was not different. The Legislature, including one Republican, voted to extend massive benefits to the gay community in the Evergreen State.
“History is going to look kindly upon the legislators who had the courage to vote for this,” said Rep. Dave Upthegrove, who cried when the bill passed the House. “It’s a great day for equality, for fairness.”
First introduced in 1977, the measure adds “sexual orientation” to a state law that bans discrimination in housing, employment and insurance, making Washington the 17th state passing a law covering gays and lesbians. It is the seventh to protect transgender people.
The bill still doesn’t address the sticky (sorry, we’re pretty pervy) issue of marriage, and of course the remaining Republicans added some wording to keep the status quo, but this is still a huge victory for our community. As the lone Republican voting for the bill, Sen. Bill Finkbeiner said, “we don’t choose who we love. The heart chooses who we love.” Sounds like he’s seen that gay cowboy movie.
Wash. Legislature Passes Gay Rights Bill [ABC News]