Thursday, January 5, 2012

Washington Governor Proposes Marriage Equality

This is good news from the Evergreen State:

After seven years of vague answers about her stand on gay marriage, Gov. Chris Gregoire on Wednesday said she not only supports allowing gays and lesbians to marry but will propose legislation to legalize it in Washington state.

The governor rejected the notion that she’s free to back same-sex marriage now because she’s not running for re-election.

“It’s right here that frees me up to do this,” she said, tapping her chest during a news conference. “I have not liked where I’ve been for seven years. I have sorted it out in my head and in my heart.”

Surrounded by a crowd of gay-marriage supporters, Gregoire vowed to get a marriage bill passed in the upcoming legislative session, which starts Monday.

State Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, both Seattle Democrats and leaders in the push to legalize same-sex marriage, said they’re optimistic the measure will be approved, although Murray said he’s still a few votes short in the Senate.

Gay-marriage opponents said they would fight the issue in the Legislature and likely take the matter before voters if necessary.

The stereotype of Washington state is that it’s all Starbucks, flannel shirts, high-tech tofu, and Pearl Jam. But it’s a very diverse state, ranging from tree-huggers in Seattle to rednecks and pick-em-up trucks in Spokane, so marriage equality won’t be a slam-dunk. But brava to Gov. Gregoire for taking it on.