News » Politics

Wash. Senate to Vote on Gay Marriage, Outcome Looks Promising

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

On Monday the House committee voted and approved a proposed bill that would legalize gay marriage in Washington State, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. The Senate will vote on the bill today.

The House Judiciary Committee took a 7-6 vote in favor of the legislation. The seven who supported the bill were Democrats and the six opposing it were Republicans. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer notes that 25 of the Senate's 49 members have stated they support same-sex marriage.

Republicans tried to amend the legislation but failed to do so. One proposed amendment would have added an exemption for private businesses and individuals similar to that of religious officials, which allows churches to opt-out of performing same-sex marriages and does not financially penalize them.

Several Republicans are upset with the marriage equality legislation, including Rep. Jay Rodne.

"There has been no compelling justification to abandon traditional marriage," he said.

Those against the bill claim that there will be a referendum if it gets to Gov. Chris Gregoire and she signs it into law, which is very likely.

Last month EDGE reported that Gregoire said she would support the bill even though she has not in the past because of her religious beliefs.

"Today, I'm announcing my support for a law that gives same-sex couples in our state the right to receive a marriage license in Washington - the same right given our heterosexual couples," Gregoire said. "It is time, it is the right thing to do, and I will introduce the bill to make it happen."

"I have been on my own journey," she said. "I will admit that. It has been a battle for me with my religion. I have always been uncomfortable with the position that I have taken publicly. And then I came to realize the religions can decide what they want to do, but it is not ok for the state to discriminate."

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