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Washington State One Vote Shy of Passing Marriage Equality as Senator Signals Support

State Sen. Jim Kastama has said he'll support a marriage equality bill in Washington state, bringing the measure within one vote of having the votes to pass.

S Kastamaaid Kastama in a statement:

“This decision is a deeply personal one. Unlike some of my colleagues in liberal districts, I will not return home to cheers and handshakes. I represent the district I was raised in. My wife and I purchased and live in the same house I grew up in and we have raised our family there. My district has known me my whole life and for 16 years has entrusted me to be a fiercely independent legislator. The people of my district are generous and decent, but I also know that there are childhood friends who will never forgive me for this vote."

24 senators are now on record in support of the bill.

In related news, six Washington-based companys wrote a letter to Governor Chris Gregoire today signaling their support. Microsoft, Nike, Vulcan, RealNetworks, Concur, and GroupHealth wrote a letter reading, "We write you today to show the support of our respective companies for SB 6239 and HB 2516 recognizing marriage equality for same-sex couples."

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  1. Sen. Kastama also made the salient point that marriage equality means supporting families! Thank you senator—this is what real leadership looks like.

    Correction: Nike is based in Oregon, not Washington.

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 19, 2012 6:50:50 PM

  2. It's sad that his childhood friends are so clouded by judgement and fear that they wouldn't forgive him for supporting equality. Some friends they are.

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 19, 2012 6:51:13 PM

  3. they're one vote shy of passing it in the SENATE. your title implies they're about to pass it in both houses...

    Posted by: daftpunkydavid | Jan 19, 2012 7:30:37 PM

  4. @daftpunkdavid: 50 votes are needed to pass a bill through the WA House, of Representatives and the marriage equality bill was submitted with 50 co-sponsors.

    Posted by: searunner | Jan 19, 2012 7:34:55 PM

  5. He might be pleasantly surprised by the reaction he will get. There are a lot of people who would feel discomfort speaking up for marriage equality without a little help. He may have just given them that help.

    Posted by: justinw | Jan 19, 2012 7:43:30 PM

  6. If you're friends are a bunch of homophobic bigots maybe you need new friends.

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 19, 2012 7:44:08 PM

  7. Wow, so close in Washington and New Jersey. Suspenseful, but awesome!

    Posted by: Zlick | Jan 19, 2012 7:48:06 PM

  8. "Some of my best friends are not gay"? Uh, okay.

    Posted by: Anastasia Beaverhausen | Jan 19, 2012 8:37:55 PM

  9. EQUALITY matters! It is not always easy doing the right thing.

    Thank You!

    Posted by: steve | Jan 19, 2012 8:51:15 PM

  10. thank you senator Kastama.

    Posted by: andnowwhat | Jan 19, 2012 11:45:32 PM


    Starting today: I'm using only Bing!


    Posted by: Chuck | Jan 19, 2012 11:45:36 PM

  12. I recommend everyone send this man a thank you email. Show him how his great action on this is a positive thing for all of us across the country. If he is going out on a limb for us, we could at least show him some love and gratitude.

    Posted by: Ny Larson | Jan 20, 2012 12:06:41 AM

  13. "but I also know that there are childhood friends who will never forgive me for this vote"

    Then we're glad you're showing leadership.

    Posted by: Mikey B. | Jan 20, 2012 12:33:04 AM

  14. If you live in Washington state (and you live in one of the undecided Senator's districts), please consider writing your Senator. You can see if your state senator is one of the undecided by visiting the story that the Stranger has on their website. See this link:

    Please pass the link along to friends!

    Posted by: Tyler | Jan 20, 2012 1:26:42 AM

  15. Not close in New Jersey as long as the fat baffoon is governor. But Washington is looking good. And Maryland seem promising this year too. Unfortunatly both of these states will probably end up with voter referendums before the law takes effect. But I still say it worth going for.

    Posted by: Ken | Jan 20, 2012 4:16:28 AM

  16. Awesome news for marriage and all families. Thank you Microsoft et al.; what have Starbucks and Amazon said on this?

    Posted by: DB | Jan 20, 2012 6:37:30 PM

  17. This is ridiculous ....if this bill passes...means it is really an anti human not forget humanity.....

    Posted by: naim khan | Jan 21, 2012 1:19:50 AM

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