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Marriage equality bill to receive full Washington House vote at 1 p.m.

Marriage equality

By Jacob Combs

Following yesterday’s historic news of the 9th Circuit striking down Proposition 8 as unconstitutional, today brings another monumental event for marriage equality: the Washington House is scheduled to vote on a marriage equality bill at 1 p.m. PST.  The bill passed the state Senate last Wednesday on a 28-21 vote, with four Republican senators voting in favor of the measure.

According to The Olympian, Democratic Rep. Jamie Pederson believes there are 54 to 56 votes in the House to pass the bill, significantly more than the 49-vote majority needed to approve the bill.  Observers have expected the bill to easily pass the House, and Governor Chris Gregoire has pledged to sign it into law.  That law would take effect on June 7.

You can watch tomorrow’s House proceedings live on TVW, Washington’s state version of C-SPAN.  And, of course, we’ll have the news here on when it breaks!


  • 1. Sagesse  |  February 8, 2012 at 9:07 am


  • 2. chris from CO  |  February 8, 2012 at 9:28 am

    What a great month this will turn out to be. This will keep the news on us for a little while. That could help our cause.

  • 3. chris from CO  |  February 8, 2012 at 10:02 am

    After Washington passes marriage equality. Supporters to ban same-sex marriage will petition to have a vote on the ballot. Since Washington is part of the 9th can the ballot initiative be dropped because it is declared unconstitutional or is it required to go to the ballot and be dealt with threw the courts later?

  • 4. EricKoszyk  |  February 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

    Unfortunately, what happened in CA is not the same as what could potentially happen in Washington.

    In CA, Prop 8 took away marriage rights that gays and lesbians had, after the CA State Supreme Court ruled that Prop 22 was unconstitutional and granted them that right. That Prop 8 took away rights is the focus of the 9th's narrow ruling.

    In WA, gays and lesbians do not currently have the right to marry.

    When Governor Gregoire signs the marriage equality bill into law, it will not take effect until June 7th. The opponents of marriage equality have until June 6 to submit a petition with 120,577 signatures to the Secretary of States office.

    If they turn in signatures prior to the deadline, the law is suspended until signatures can be verified. If not enough signatures are turned in, then the law takes effect immediately. If enough signatures are turned in then the law is suspended until the results of the November election are certified, on December 6. If the referendum fails ( a "Yes" vote is in favor of the new law), then the law is rejected and gays and lesbians still cannot marry.

    The referendum does not take pre-existing rights away (like Prop 8 did), it takes new rights away before they are given.

    Everything you want to know about the referendum process:

  • 5. steven  |  February 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

    After governor signs the bill somebody needs to file a lawsuit and use 9th circuit's finding..

  • 6. chiefscribe  |  February 8, 2012 at 10:43 am

    Anybody see this in-depth piece on Maggie Gallagher in Salon? Interesting but sad to see how someone's bitterness gets projected into a national movement against other people's rights.

  • 7. fiona64  |  February 8, 2012 at 11:16 am

    Brief summary: Maggie Gallagher answers to "Bitter, party of one."

  • 8. Brett  |  February 8, 2012 at 10:53 am

    It's wonderful to see diversity winning in so many ways this month. I think MLK and other civil rights leaders would be proud.

  • 9. Brad M  |  February 8, 2012 at 11:18 am

    In Illinois, a Marriage Equality bill was filed in the IL General Assembly today!

  • 10. CalCub  |  February 8, 2012 at 11:53 am

    So I'm curious, is Governor Gregoire required to sign the legislation immediately after it passes? Can she hold off for an indefinite amount of time to "Fully consider the ramifications of her signing the legislation"? Maybe sit on it for a month or two, thus making the window for NOM and thier battalions of HIRED professional signature gatherers task to get to 120,600 signatures that much more unattainable? Yeah I know it's a shifty tactic, but on the other hand, having witnessed first hand the deplorable methods NOM used here in CA back in 2008, including fear mongering and blatant lies to possible signatories, I think it's only fair. Tit for tat!

  • 11. Eric Koszyk  |  February 8, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Nope, she has 5 days. That's it.

  • 12. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    I actually wouldn't worry about them gathering their votes (even if they get enough) they will LOSE no matter what.

  • 13. Jacob  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Wow, is anyone watching the Washington legislature? They're a model of efficiency.

  • 14. James A. Tuttle  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Right!?? I was thinking the same thing…New york was much slower.

  • 15. gayathomemom  |  February 8, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Watching now… the no votes sound like a bunch of narrow-minded religious morons. No logic, no emotion, no sense.

  • 16. James A. Tuttle  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    YES!!!! Amendment to put marriage to a vote FAILS!!!

  • 17. Carpool Cookie  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the report. Will research this later.

    Fab news if I'm understanding you correctly!

  • 18. James A. Tuttle  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    yes, you are. The residents are still allowed to gather signatures and such as per the referendum system but there is no built in amendment that a vote will happen automatically. I've seen role call votes on about 6 amendments now and the R's have lost all of them.

  • 19. Owen  |  February 8, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Ugh, I start watching and pick up in the middle of this Rodne blathering about procreation and the same tired arguments we've heard for ages.

  • 20. Jon  |  February 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    The bill passes 55 to 43!

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