Washington State Just One Vote Short Of Passing Gay-Marriage Bill

One more swing Democrat has come around on the gay-marriage issue in Washington State, bringing the marriage-equality bill just one vote shy of passing.

State Senator Jim Kastama (right), a Democrat who voted in 1998 to ban gay marriage in the state, says his evolution on the issue is a “deeply personal one,” according to the Seattle Times.

Kastama announced yesterday he will vote yes on gay marriage.

“My district has known me my whole life and for 16 years has entrusted me to be a fiercely independent legislator,” he said. “The people of my district are generous and decent, but I also know that there are childhood friends who will never forgive me for this vote.”

Screw your childhood friends, Jim. Keep on being fierce.

Another factor that will hopefully convince undecided Senators to vote on the right side of history: Microsoft, Nike, RealNetworks, Group Health Cooperative, and Concur have sent a letter calling for gay marriage to pass.

Here’s the list of undecideds: Andy Hill, R-Redmond; Joe Fain, R-Auburn; Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island; Paull Shin, D-Edmonds; and Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond.

Click on their names to e-mail them and tell them you want Washington State to be the seventh marriage-equality state, especially if you are a constituent in any of their districts. Let them know there may be financial rewards for doing so.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #jimkastama #marriageequality #wa stories and more


  • TMikel

    Surely there is on more just state senator in Washington! Let him or her come forth and do what is right that another state may recognize the justice of marriage equality and the injustice of denying any the right to marry the one he or she loves.

  • iDavid

    Hmm the first west coast city to get gay marriage is going to be WA? over Cali? Ouch!

  • Jerry

    Actually Mary Haugen’s email address is [email protected]. If you guys want us to take the time to write these people (which I did), it would be nice if you did the research and got that stuff right.

  • iDavid

    My God Queerty, how do u deal w these ungrateful pricks?

  • Brand

    God bless you, Jim Kastama, thank you for understanding the Constitution and the subsequent legitimate laws of the United States give no just cause for disenfranchising gays from the right to marry.

    We all get to the point one day where we realize not every child we happened to grow up with is more worth our deference and consideration than those who grew up a street, or a town, or a state, or a world away. And we realize that not every conceptualization we developed as children is more valid or worth holding on to than those we develop after deeply pondering the law, or for that matter the Bible, and the world not merely as it is or was but as it should be. There are a lot of people who become worldly, and stray further from simple truths. But you have become wise, and come closer to a simple truth.

    Again, thank you and all the decent, sane, empathetic, non-dogmatic, democratic but non-tyrannical legislators who are finally seeing the light.

  • iDavid

    My god queerty, how do hou deal with such ungrateful jerks I.e. Jerry?

  • Cam

    “”State Senator Jim Kastama (right), a Democrat who voted in 1998 to ban gay marriage in the state, says his evolution on the issue is a “deeply personal one,” “”

    Yeah, in other words, he saw the anti-gay Democrats who went down in New York, and how much money flooded into the coffers of the people that voted FOR gay marriage there.

  • randy

    Most gays and lesbians, when they come out, lose a close friend or two, maybe a bunch. So now You’ll know how it feels to be honest about yourself and your convictions — not everyone likes honesty.

  • WillBFair

    We already had civil unions, and I’d rather the resources had been put into emotional support for the twenty something crowd, and a pr campaign about our historic contributions, and hiv prevention. But whatever. Selfish couples rule the moo-vment. Fine.

  • Cam

    @WillBFair: said…

    “We already had civil unions, and I’d rather the resources had been put into emotional support for the twenty something crowd, and a pr campaign about our historic contributions, and hiv prevention. But whatever. Selfish couples rule the moo-vment. Fine.”

    That is the bigots argument. They pretend that only one thing can be done at a time, or it is an either or thing.

    1. How exactly is this vote taking anything away from anybody else? Is this Senators vote stopping people from providing “Emotional Support”?

    2. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps the 20 something crowd wouldn’t need the emotional support if the country didn’t tell them that they were mistakes and their relationships were not worthy of being legal?

    3. A P.R. campaign? Are you serious? You would rather have a feel good ad campaign out there, playing to bigots who don’t give a crap about us than for the govt. to stop legally classing us as second class citizens? Political correctness has been around for ages and there are still people that hate Blacks, Latinos, etc… What HAS helped those communities have been laws.

    This is the typical comment by somebody living in a gay ghetto who just can’t be bothered with rights because THEIR life is going fine.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Cam: @ No. 9 — AGREED 100%.

    I remember how disappointedly sad my hubby and I were, back in 1995/6, when the initial Hawaiian marriage equity cause was fundraising in LA, we, table sponsors for HRC’s annual galas in SF and LA, were completely rebuffed seeking HRC’s support for Hawaii. The response we received was that the effort of same-sex marriage was counter-productive to their gay rights agenda, and that they actually hoped the Hawaiians would cease diluting gay rights goals. Even schmuck Barry Frank said the same thing, angry that the Hawaiian effort was begetting calls for DOMA.

    Thanks to the many protesters at Stonewall who stood up, said enough, and took on ALL not only NYPD but also the gay “establishment.” Thanks to ActUP who said fuck you to the gay “establishment” we are dying out here and we are not going to wait another decade to get the government involved in slowing/ending HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the Hawaiians who started the marriage-equity movement IN SPITE OF NO GAY “ESTABLISHMENT” support. Thanks to the very many others pushing for our rights through Trevor Project, marriage-equity fights in MA, ME, NH, VT, NY, NJ, CA, IA, DC, and per this post Washington State.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @Cam: @ No. 5

    Cam, are you from Washington and know this, or surmising and explanation?

    I ask because, while you may very well be right, our cause MUST HAVE people changing their minds, evolving their beliefs that equality means equality for all, including us. We must have those who, just 5 (any number would do, I picked 5) years ago thought of us as always being fags and lesbos, instead of couples, families, neighbors.

    When I came of age, there was the Damron Guide (to Gay US), a must have for travelers, as it listed all the various state laws against same-sex sex — (from memory) 35 states had anti-gay sodomy laws, gays/lesbians were subjected to arrest and prison. That is not the case today because so many former anti-gay righters are now pro-gay righters.

    And now we need just 1 more for Washington.

  • ron

    @Mike in Asheville: Very good. But you forgot Connecticut.

  • ron

    @Mike in Asheville: Very good. But you forgot to mention Connecticut.

  • Cam

    @Mike in Asheville:

    Hi Mike,

    My comment is based upon the simple history that most politicians will change their votes for the promise of campaign donations or reelection.

    The people in NY changed their votes as soon as gay money started paying for ads against them. Romney wanted to be governor of MA so said he was pro-choice and pro-gay. Now he wants to get the GOP nomination and he says he is anti gay and anti choice.

    Senators and Congressmen were all signed on to a bill to regulate for profit colleges that had been worked on for 3 years. The colleges hired a few lobbyists and within a month 50 of them had pulled back their support. Did the Lobbyists tell them something about the law they didn’t know before? Of course not, they just got out their wallets.

    Like this guy. He is fine voting against gay rights when the vote wasn’t close. But he knows he can’t afford to be the REASON that the law doesn’t pass.

  • tj

    We definitely need to get tougher on Democrats who have opportunities such as these. (Notice I said those who have opportunities this does not mean randomly targeting dems in conservative districts/states where it won’t matter one way or the other or shooting ourselves in the foot by forcing Dems to take politically stupid positions and loosing potential allies)
    If gay marriage does not pass in Washington it will because the internal politics didn’t go our way meaning these people weren’t pressured enough by the party establishment to get in line. The Governor is pushing this through so I don’t think that will be the case, however, should it go that way then we need to be very specific about money given to primary challengers in these districts.

  • CJ

    It baffles the mind that there are Republican Senators and Representatives voting IN FAVOR of this legislation and yet there are Democrats either against it – or “undecided.” This is also true outside of Washington state, of course.

    It will be amazing when we finally have a US President that is in favor of FULL equality vs. one that hides behind “evolving” statements. Then, to see the entire cabinet speak up for equality. Once we have the White House speaking out very loudly for 100% full equality (vs. 50%/50% speeches) I think there will be further momentum amongst moderate voters and “undecided” lawmakers.

    Thank you to Microsoft and other businesses for standing up for equality. Hopefully Boeing and other Washington companies will do the same.

  • Mike in Asheville

    @ron: Oops! And I my hubby and I decided to tie the knot while driving through Connecticut headed to Cape Cod.

  • Fodolodo

    It’s going to pass. For it not to pass, all five undecideds would have to vote no. Assuming a 50-50 chance for each undecided Senator, the probability of that is 1/32, or about 3.13%.

    This is NOT an excuse, obviously, for people in Washington State to stop pressuring their representatives; after all, it was clear the Maryland marriage equality bill would pass, too, and then it didn’t. But the biggest obstacle now is probably the threat of a “people’s veto” in November.

  • Riker

    @CJ: I’m so sorry that this situation has shaken your worldview that Republicans are universally evil and Democrats are always working for the best interests of gays 100% of the time. Perhaps you should cancel your internet service, to shield you and other pawns of the liberal gay establishment from further inconvenient facts.

  • WillBFair

    @Cam: 1. You may have a point about this vote not costing much. On the other hand, I’ve heard that Equal Rights Washington has been spending heavily to make it happen. And fyi, resources spent one place aren’t available elsewhere. I thought that was obvious. It’s about priorities.
    2. The twenty something crowd have no self esteem from the public school hatefest, and they are spreading hiv. Changing the name civil union to marraige won’t affect that. They need emotional support now.
    3. When people know of our massive contributions to history, they won’t listen to lies about us. We are the victims of a massive media pr campaign against us, and that has to change.
    And fyi, I don’t live in the ghetto, my life is not perfect, and I’ve been bucking ghetto culture for thirty years, trying to stop hiv. You’re the one repeating ghetto mob think, not me.

  • WillBFair

    @Cam: 2. And it’s not about ‘the country’ telling them anything. That’s a wrong characterization. It’s about one state changing the name for something where we already have all the rights available.

  • Fodolodo

    @WillBFair: : I agree that marriage equality is not the only or even the most important LGBT issue. But don’t pretend that civil unions are equal; they’re not. And don’t smear people seeking equality under the law for being “selfish.” It’s not selfish to want to be treated fairly.

  • Wesley Horace

    @iDavid: to be fair, california did have it first as their are still thousands of legally married gay couples here. its just that prop 8 passed and we are stuck for a little while until we can rectify the situation.

  • iDavid


    Agreed! I do think WA will remain stable if it passes. Seems by all data it will head in that direction.

  • Cam

    @WillBFair: said….

    “@Cam: 2. And it’s not about ‘the country’ telling them anything. That’s a wrong characterization. It’s about one state changing the name for something where we already have all the rights available.”

    You need to read up on your history. The Supreme Court has said flat out that Seprate but Equal is not equal.

    By your logic, blacks shouldn’t complain because the seats in the back of the bus are just the same, and the water from a separate drinking fountain is just as cold.

    As for as resources go. Just curious, what is it about being a second class citizen that you don’t think hurts self esteem of 20somethings?

  • Johnathon

    @iDavid: Living in the “Golden State” myself I was hoping California would be the first state of the “West Coast” extending the right to marriage of same sex couples but unfortunately we still have Prop 8 to reckon with. If you think about it Cali is a huge reason it’s being dealt with on a national level, we have the highest population of any state. Also Washington isn’t a city it’s a state ;)

  • iDavid


    Omg, when did Wa turn from a city into a state? I can’t believe I said that. Oh wait, old age, yes I can.
    I agree with you about Cali. It is THEEE sacrificial lamb for American gay marriage and we should always be grateful for it’s courage to take such heat.
    I guess since it has the best weather in the country, “swimmn pools n movie stars” the resentful spiritual collective said, “you got it way too fun’n way too easy, you do it sushine.” We Calis do drama sooooo well.

Comments are closed.