Sabtu, 14 Januari 2012

WA: Marriage Equality Bill Introduced 2 Votes Short

Good news! In Washington state, a marriage equality bill (SB 6239) has been introduced in the legislature. The organization Washington United for Marriage issued a press release commending the decision:
OLYMPIA – Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations that will work to obtain civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington State in 2012, today applauded the introduction of SB 6239, an act relating to providing equal protection for all families in Washington by creating equality in civil marriage and changing the domestic partnership laws, while protecting religious freedom.  The bill needs 25 votes in the senate for passage and was introduced with 23 sponsors.
“Today we take the next step towards making the promise of equality a reality in Washington State,” said Zach Silk, Campaign Manager for Washington United for Marriage.  “The introduction of this bill not only recognizes the value that lesbian and gay families in Washington make to our united community, but also upholds the longstanding tradition of the separation of church and state in this country.  Marriage is about dignity, commitment, love and respect – it is the ultimate expression of a pro-family society.  The foundation of marriage helps us build stable families, and now is the time to recognize the importance of treating all families in Washington State equally.”
At this time, six states plus the District of Columbia recognize marriage for same-sex couples under state law: Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont.  Nine states—California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington—provide same-sex couples with access to the state level benefits and responsibilities of marriage, through either civil unions or domestic partnerships.  Same-sex couples do not receive federal rights and benefits in any state.
You can read the full text of the marriage equality bill. It is currently lacking two votes needed to pass in the Senate, where Democrats hold a 27-22 edge, since there are 23 co-sponsors. The Governor, Christine Gregoire, has already announced her strong support for marriage equality.

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