HRC Blog

Marriage Equality Passes in WA State Legislature; Heads to Desk of Gov. Gregoire

Post submitted by Adrian Matanza, Former HRC Regional Field Director

Today the Washington State House of Representatives voted to legalize same-sex marriage, SB6239, with a bipartisan vote of 55-43. Last week, the Senate approved the bill. Lacey All, the Chair of Washington United for Marriage, the coalition working to pass marriage equality in Washington State, of which HRC is a proud founding member, released this statement:

“We thank Speaker Chopp and Rep. Pedersen for their leadership, as well as the bipartisan coalition of representatives who voted today to recognize the love, honor and commitment of all Washington families. Many of us have known for a long time that recognizing the diversity and inclusion our state has to offer is key to our success.  The enactment of this bill will prove to the world that Washington is a great place to live, work and raise a family.  We do not doubt our opponents will be successful in placing a referendum on the ballot, and we will continue to build upon our momentum and win in November.”

The bill now moves to the Governor’s office.  Governor Gregoire has five days to sign the bill into law, and has indicated she will sign. Opponents of equality wishing to challenge the new law would have until June to collect 120,557 valid signatures – the amount required to place a referendum on the November 2012 ballot. 

The legislation would grant same-sex couples the right to obtain a state-issued marriage license, making it the seventh state in the nation to do so (Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont already grant marriage rights). Washington recognizes same-sex relationships with an inclusive domestic partnership bill passed in 2009.

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