Washington Governor Chris Gregoire's
Wednesday announcement that she would introduce a gay marriage bill
is being criticized by opponents.
While 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, she has previously opposed
giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry.
In announcing she would back the bill,
Gregoire, 64, said she had personally struggled with the issue.
Gregoire's backing of gay marriage effort lauded by gay rights
Her change of heart, however, is being
criticized by opponents of marriage equality, as reported by
Dan Swecker said Gregoire was “kind of fanning the flames” of
a “very divisive issue.”
Ken Hutcherson, who as pastor of the
Antioch Bible Church in Redmond has previously opposed proposed gay
rights measures, insisted that the yet-to-be introduced bill would
“infringe upon my freedom of religion.”
“Every place this has become the law
of the land, you are muzzled about what you can say about the issue
of homosexuality,” he said on KIRO FM's Dori
And Brian Brown, the president of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the nation's most
vociferous opponent of gay marriage, committed his group to working
against the bill's passage.
“The people of this country believe
that marriage is a union of a man and a woman,” Brown told Reuters.
“I expect the legislature in Washington state will stand up for
this commitment and vote to protect marriage.”