February 8, 2012
By Jacob Combs
As anticipated, a proposed marriage equality bill passed the Washington House tonight, with a final vote tally of 55-43. The bill passed the state Senate last week, and now moves to Governor Chris Gregoire, who has pledged to sign it into law. Because there is no emergency clause in the bill, the law will take effect 90 days after the end of the legislative session, meaning gays and lesbians would be able to marry on June 7, unless opponents of marriage equality collect enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November, in which case the law would be suspended until the referendum was complete.
In his speech this afternoon on the House floor in support of the bill, openly gay Rep. Jamie Pedersen read from Judge Reinhardt’s 9th Circuit opinion yesterday striking down Prop 8 as unconstitutional, sharing the following words from the decision:
“We need consider only the many ways in which we encounter the word ‘marriage’ in our daily lives and understand it, consciously or not, to convey a sense of significant…. The name ‘marriage’ signifies the unique recognition that society gives to harmonious, loyal, enduring, and intimate relationships.”