It was just a few years ago, 2006 to be exact that the Washington State Supreme Court upheld a 1998 law that banned gay marriage. Our state Supreme Court refused to overturn the ban:
“The Legislature was entitled to believe that limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples furthers procreation, essential to the survival of the human race and furthers the well-being of children by encouraging families where children are reared in homes headed by children’s biological parents,” wrote supreme court justice Barbara Madsen.
Wednesday evening the Washington State Senate moved to turn that around. The vote was 28-21 in favor of making Washington State the the 7th state in the Union to codify marriage as a legal right for all citizens of the state of Washington. So in the end, the vote wasn’t close, a clear majority in our state senate has voted in favor of equality for all, which is deeply embedded in our state constitution, and this time.
It was days ago I received two phone calls, on each of my home lines, from the National Organization for Marriage, asking questions about how I felt about this upcoming legislative action. The questions they asked were skewed of course, but I knew what they were attempting to do. It also angered me to have this organization yet again, stick it’s nose into our business. But this time as you can see from the vote, their attempt to derail this legislation was ended. They will probably attempt to overturn it with an initiative in a year or two, but this time, the State Supreme Court will have every reason to uphold the legislation and not bend to the will of outside homophobic groups intent on limiting the human rights.
Now we await the state House of Representatives, but we know the bill will pass, we know there is a majority of people in the house who will vote yes on this bill and our Governor will sign it into law.
Under state law, opponents have 90 days from the end of the session to collect 120,577 signatures to put a referendum on the ballot. The regular session ends March 8.
If opponents aren’t able to collect enough signatures, gay and lesbian couples would be able to be wed starting in June. Otherwise, they would have to wait until the results of a November election.
Congratulate us, we are almost there.