The law passed through both houses of the state legislature, and the governor signed it as she had no intent to veto it. In doing so they're the seventh state so far to have it, and will begin carrying it out on June 7th. Naturally opponents of the measure have moved to begin trying to overturn it.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory, signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Gregoire signed the bill surrounded by gay rights supporters. "I'm proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal," she said.
It's a historic moment, but same-sex couples can't walk down the aisle just yet.
The law takes effect June 7, but opponents on multiple fronts already are preparing to fight.
Opponents planned to file a challenge Monday that could put the law on hold pending the outcome of a November vote. Separately, an initiative was filed at the beginning of the session that opponents of gay marriage say could lead to the new law being overturned.
The state reception room at the Capitol was packed with gay rights supporters and at least 40 lawmakers from the House and Senate
Sen. Ed Murray, a Seattle Democrat who is gay and has sponsored gay rights legislation for years, told the cheering crowd: "My friends, welcome to the other side of the rainbow. No matter what the future holds, nothing will take this moment away from us."
As the Democratic governor signed the legislation, a man shouted, "Do not betray Christ!" However, his voice was overwhelmed by gay-marriage supporters who cheered and spoke loudly during his outburst.
Bob Struble, 68, of Bremerton, was removed from the room and said he was given a warning by security. Struble said he believes the state will halt gay marriage in a public vote. "We'll be doing everything we can to overturn this unfortunate law," he said
Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who opposes gay marriage, was in town speaking with conservative voters. Santorum also planned to meet with Republican lawmakers at the Capitol later Monday.
Gregoire's signature comes nearly a week after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional, saying it was a violation of the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples.
A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave gay marriage opponents time to appeal the 2-1 decision against Proposition 8 before ordering the state to allow same-sex weddings to resume. The judges also said the decision only applies to California, even though the court has jurisdiction in nine Western states.
Washington state has had domestic partnership laws since 2007, and in 2009 passed an "everything but marriage" expansion of that law, which was ultimately upheld by voters after a referendum challenge.
Opponents said they would file a ballot challenge after Gregoire signed the measure that would require voters in November to either uphold or overturn the law. If the referendum gets enough signatures the law is put on hold pending the outcome of a November vote.
Separately, an anti-gay marriage initiative was filed at the beginning of the session, but the language is still being worked out so no signatures have been collected yet. An initiative alone would not pause the law.
Gay marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C.
Same-sex marriage also has the backing of several prominent Pacific Northwest businesses, including Microsoft Corp., Nike Inc. and Starbucks Corp.
Legislative committees in Maryland heard testimony on gay marriage last week. Lawmakers in New Jersey are expected to vote on gay marriage soon, with a vote in the state Senate on Monday and a vote in the Assembly on Thursday.
N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, who is pushing for a public vote on the issue, says he'll veto the bill if it comes to his desk. Maine could see a gay marriage proposal on the November ballot.
Proposed amendments to ban gay marriage will be on the ballots in North Carolina in May and in Minnesota in November.
The gay marriage bill is Senate Bill 6239.
Faktrl is Best Pony
10th September 2007
Only 43 more states to go and we'll be almost half as civilized as the rest of the developed world.
"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.
computernerd;5610223Only 43 more states to go and we'll be almost half as civilized as the rest of the developed world.
I would hope so. You know about the difficulties with this though, and I'm sure there are many who think the US would become 'uncivilized' and even more decayed (as the rest of the world) if this spreads, be it infecting children's minds or destroying the point of marriage as they would 'argue', I guess. The article points out for example the issue brought up in New Jersey where it has progressed through the senate and is expected to go through the state assembly, but Chris Christie will veto that.
Gettin' real tired of you ducking me, man...
29th December 2004
You'll note that Christie says he'd like to see the issue on the ballot. On this I agree with him. No matter which side of the issue you're on, you should agree that the issue needs to be voted on. Much like some states allow gambling, gay marriage should be decided on by the people of the state, and not the political cronies in the state house.
Of course, this would lead to the more liberal states (New England, California, etc.) having legalized gay marriage, and the more conservative states (the Southeast and Midwest) not having it. How is this a bad thing? The law would reflect the beliefs and values of the people living there, just like it should.
More importantly, this is yet another issue that the federal government has no constitutional authority to legislate on, meaning it must be decided at the state level. Of course, that little 'no constitutional authority' issue hasn't slowed the government down much in the last several years. Why should this be any different?
Demonseed;5610322You'll note that Christie says he'd like to see the issue on the ballot. On this I agree with him. No matter which side of the issue you're on, you should agree that the issue needs to be voted on. Much like some states allow gambling, gay marriage should be decided on by the people of the state, and not the political cronies in the state house.
Why should 'the people' have any say on how other people live their lives? It seems like this is exactly the kind of thing that governments are created for, ensuring equal rights for everyone, including the minority, even against the prejudices of the majority.
Demonseed;5610322Much like some states allow gambling, gay marriage should be decided on by the people of the state, and not the political cronies in the state house. [/QUOTE]
lulz Almost seems like you're implying that gay marriage is like gambling. I'm sure you didn't mean any such thing, but that's just what popped up in my head after reading that.
[QUOTE=Demonseed;5610322]Of course, this would lead to the more liberal states (New England, California, etc.) having legalized gay marriage, and the more conservative states (the Southeast and Midwest) not having it. How is this a bad thing? The law would reflect the beliefs and values of the people living there, just like it should.
I'm sure the same was said about the issue of slavery.
DemonseedNo matter which side of the issue you're on, you should agree that the issue needs to be voted on. Much like some states allow gambling, gay marriage should be decided on by the people of the state, and not the political cronies in the state house.
Democracy doesn't mean that the majority get to take away or limit the rights of minority groups. Or do you think the people of any state should have the right to decide on the legality of things like miscegenation too?
The law would reflect the beliefs and values of the people living there, just like it should.
And it does - moreso than before. Both the people who disagree with same-sex marriage and those who agree with it are now entitled to act in accordance with their OWN beliefs about marriage. No one is being dicated to according to the beliefs of someone else.
Faktrl is Best Pony
10th September 2007
Indeed, I thought we established already that homosexuality wasn't something you can choose. If we're going to scrutinize gay marriage then, by that same measure, shouldn't we also scrutinize straight marriage?
I know marriage, in the traditional sense, is supposedly a religious or cultural ceremony meant for a man and a woman (which is why a lot of Christians like to claim ownership to it, so to speak), but really what is marriage other than a legal binding of two people who want to spend their lives together (otherwise, why would Atheists marry? =p)? Are we really THAT paranoid and skittish about who marry's who? What kind of a society is that?
"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.
With regards to the position Christie took, this isn't like some tax hike or something that's being imposed on people by distanced politicians. It's not like people'll be forced to be 'gay', much less be concerned about some revenue change or something that'll pass it on to the people. If people are uncomfortable about this, it's because of close-mindedness, not about some hackneyed conception of states' rights and restrictions on government.
What this is- political posturing. There's really nothing AFAIK about gay marriage that should be even talked about in politics right now- it's just FUD certain politicians use to get their constituents to vote for them as a 'family man'. Plus, seeing as Chris Christie is a bit of a sweetheart for the Republican Party, there's really not much he would've gained from signing the thing into law. It's about his political score sheet, not about his constituents having this 'forced' upon him. This is the same guy that after all they were trying to get involved in the primary race early on.
This kind of position would have probably prevented any sort of real legal civil rights from ever being passed in the South if it went to the ballot each time. Referendums are good for somethings, but they can't be used for every single thing on the face of the Earth. Especially when it concerns rights of people, more so when those happen to be a 'minority'.
If we had this kind of perspective, I doubt Jim Crow and other segregation laws would have not been removed until well into the 1990s. I doubt Texas would have been a nice place to live in, probably wouldn't've been living here right now.
There's a difference in say, imposing taxes, economic policy, gun control, and what not on people. But bringing up 'States' Rights' and pseudo-populism and such over this is dishonest and distorts the real matter of things here.