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Will Washington State's Chris Gregoire Endorse Marriage Equality Tomorrow?

GregoireHere's some good evening news: Seattle Times journalist Andrew Garber reports that Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire will reportedly hold a press conference to announce support for marriage equality.

Gregoire has leaned toward equality in the past. She signed a law last year recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages and in 2009 signed the "everything but marriage" law extending domestic partnerships to the same level of marriage. Full support would be the next logical step, especially with the widespread equality movement in the state, like Washington United for Marriage.

A vast coalition, the group came together last November to start putting pressure on the state's lawmakers, including Governor Gregoire. From their press release:

The long list of supporting members includes faith-based organizations such as the Faith Action Network and Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, unions including SEIU Washington State Council and UFCW 21, and numerous advocacy organizations and business associations across the state.

The grassroots effort is led by a group of the state’s leading human rights organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, Equal Rights Washington, Human Rights Campaign, Legal Voice, and Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest.

The goal is to have legislation legalizing civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire next year.

Various writers described 2011 as the "year to be gay." And, yes, there were indeed some tremendous moments. DADT's repeal, gay marriage in New York and Hillary Clinton's end-of-the-year UN speech all come to mind. But big news in Washington would be like the Iowa caucus of equality: a great way to give other movements across the country some momentum for their own fights. Who knows, maybe 2012 will turn out to be the year to beat.

Image via WSDOT's Flickr.

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Comments

  1. We can all agree that this is a positive step in the right direction: a Democratic pol has decided it's good politics to come out in favor of marriage equality.

    But I sure hope that Gregoire isn't out to steel the mantle on this one.

    The stepwise strategy of domestic partnerships versions 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, culminating in the "everything but marriage" bill a couple years ago, comes as the fruit of openly gay state Sen. Ed Murray.

    To my knowledge, Gregoire has never been out front on gay issues, and she's not a candidate for re-election in 2012. In fact, the presumptive Democratic nominee to be her replacement, US Rep. Jay Inslee, has made marriage equality a centerpiece of his platform.

    Posted by: oneway | Jan 3, 2012 8:20:29 PM


  2. Gregoire hasn't been one for lukewarm announcements so I imagine there's some legitimate action behind this. She recently told PubliCola about her preferred bill, one that sustains domestic partnership availability, has those church exemptions and etcetera so I would guess she may be announcing transmission of a bill or a compromise.

    Posted by: AJ | Jan 3, 2012 8:21:37 PM


  3. Well ... fingers are crossed. Here's hoping she comes forth for marriage equality.

    Posted by: OS2Guy | Jan 3, 2012 9:45:44 PM


  4. Wa. state is such a cool place. It would make a beautiful wedding destination.

    Posted by: cranky1 | Jan 3, 2012 10:38:56 PM


  5. Awesome...Oregon next! Love the Northwest.

    Posted by: jtpdx | Jan 3, 2012 10:52:30 PM


  6. Gregoire, a practicing Catholic, has been supportive of gay couples for a long time (e.g., http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Lawmakers-pass-expanded-domestic-partner-rights-1303324.php)

    But again, I don't understand why the liberal majority Catholic laity don't rise up and tell the pope and his fascist dogs to STFU.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 4, 2012 12:39:16 AM


  7. This is mostly due to Sen. Ed Murray's tireless efforts. I love that man. The people here in Washington are such good people. I really don't understand why we don't already have marriage equality here.

    Posted by: Markus | Jan 4, 2012 12:43:37 AM


  8. Democrats hold a pretty solid majority in the legislature, so it should be able to pass. Unfortunately, I beleive Washington has a provision similar to Maine where opponents can gather signatures to put it on the ballot and repeal it before it goes into effect. So this will likely result in another election day battle. I'm guessing this is why they have moved slowly.

    Posted by: Ken | Jan 4, 2012 2:20:11 AM


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