Washington Governor Chris Gregoire on
Wednesday announced she's backing an effort to legalize gay marriage
in the state.
“As a wife, a mother, a student of
the law and a lifelong Washingtonian committed to equality and
justice, 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 heterosexual couples. It is
time, it is the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do
it,” Gregoire said at a news conference surrounded by marriage
equality advocates in the state capital of Olympia.
“Same-sex couples should not be
denied the meaning of marriage,” she added. “They have a right
to be equal!”
Senator Ed Murray, who is expected to
back the legislation in the Senate, said, “This bill will not pass
unless there is a bipartisan vote for this bill,” and added that he
knows of “a few” Republicans in the Senate who support the
Gregoire, who is in the final year of
her second term, has signed into law previous bills shoring up the
state's domestic partnership law. The latest expansion approved in
2009 gives gay and lesbian couples most of the legal protections of
The 2009 expansion – dubbed
“everything but marriage” – survived a referendum seeking to
repeal the measure.
Marriage was defined as a heterosexual
union with the passage of a 1998 law, which survived a legal
challenge in 2006.
poll released in October found that 55 percent of Washingtonians
would vote against a ballot initiative that attempted to repeal a gay