The Washington state legislature is poised to pass a law recognizing marriages of same gender couples.
Governor Chris Gregoire got the ball rolling before the state of the current legislative session when she said she would sponsor the legislation.
She said she had considered the issue and concluded it would be the right thing to do.
Here are her comments, as reported by The Associated Press.
“It’s time, it’s the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it,” Gregoire said. “I say that as a wife, a mother, a student of the law, and above all as a Washingtonian with a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom. Some say domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. That’s a version of the discriminatory ‘separate but equal’ argument.
“Our gay and lesbian families face the same hurdles as heterosexual families—making ends meet, choosing what school to send their kids to, finding someone to grow old with, standing in front of friends and family and making a lifetime commitment.
“For all couples, a state marriage license is very important. It gives them the right to enter into a marriage contract in which their legal interests, and those of their children if any, are protected by well-established civil law.”
Earlier this week, a Democrat senator from Camano Island, Mary Margaret Haugen, came to the same conclusions and said she would vote for a marriage equality bill, giving sponsors enough votes to pass the legislation.
Opponents of marriage equality have promised to mount an initiative to overturn the legislation, but if a recent University of Washington poll is accurate, the state's voters will support the legislation.
And if one were to poll just the gay community, support would be overwhelming. There's no good reason they shouldn't enjoy the same rights and privileges that straight people enjoy.
I applaud the moves. Being a card carrying domestic partner isn't quite the same as being married. It's close, but not the same.
Congratulations to those willing to take a stand to do the right thing. As Martin Luther King, Jr., is reported to have said, "It's always the right time to do the right thing."