Equal Rites

WA Governor Chris Gregoire Paves The Way For Marriage Equality

Washington could soon be the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage, now that Democratic governor Chris Gregoire (right) has come out today and endorsed upcoming marriage-equality legislation in her state.

Looks like her hair isn’t the only similarity she shares with Hillary Clinton.

“It is time in Washington state for marriage equality,” Gregoire told reporters in Olympia. “It is time, it’s the right thing to do.”

Speaking of “time,” Gregoire timed her announcement just in advance of the Washington State Legislature’s reconvening next week. If the the bill passes, Washington would join New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Iowa, and the District of Columbia in fully recognizing marriage equality.

Naturally, the GOP is already mobilizing against the issue: Republican State Senator Dan Swecker told the Bellingham Herald: “It’s too bad we’d try to deal with this issue, that tends to be very divisive, in a year when we have these other major financial issues facing us.” (Washington is currently facing a $1.5 billion shortfall)

Why is it there’s always more important matters when someone wants to pass marriage-equality legislation, but if there’s a marriage ban or a “Don’t Say Gay” bill proposed, suddenly there’s all the time in the world.

Senator Ed Murray and Representative Jamie Pedersen, both openly gay Democrats from Seattle, are expected to champion the measure.

With a 27-22 majority in the Senate and a 56-42 advantage in the House, Democrats have a good shot at getting it passed, though the Herald reports that, in the past, “some conservative Democrats in the Senate have voted with Republicans when it comes to extending rights to same-sex couples.”