Washington House to Vote on Marriage Equality Bill Tomorrow

The Washington House will vote on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage at 1 pm tomorrow. The Senate passed the bill last week in a 28-21 vote. The bill is expected to be passed in the House and Governor Chris Gregoire will sign it.

WashingtonThe Olympian reports:

Opponents of gay marriage are gearing up to challenge SB 6239 with a referendum on the Nov. 6 ballot. Advocates with the evangelical Faith and Freedom Network, led by Gary Randall, and others plan a referendum once Gregoire signs it, and they face a June 6 deadline for signatures.

The Office of the Secretary of State in Olympia says that if opponents’ signature-gathering falls short, the bill would take effect June 7 – or as soon as signature counts were completed, if needed. But if gay-marriage foes can meet the requirement for a little over 120,000 valid voter signatures by the deadline, they would force the matter onto the Nov. 6 ballot and put the law into abeyance until the election is certified.


  1. Jed says

    i posted a similar question for Ari earlier (concerning new hampshire) but may i ask the same question this time about washington. Ari, do you think today’s Prop 8 decision can be used as a legal precedent to stop this washington referendum on the grounds of consitutionality? assuming the marriage equality bill passes and is signed into law, the circumstances & effect of a november initiative would essentially be the same as Prop 8 in california, would it not? (i.e. taking away an *existing* right based on the same arguments as Prop 8 proponents used)

  2. vanndean says

    Washington state citizens will not have been allowed to marry prior to the passage of the law. There will be no time period for them to legally marry prior to the election being held. In that case the fact that they are not actually married makes them different from those in the California case. The citizens of Washington will not get the right to marry until after the elections.
    California citizens had the legal right to marry and then that right was stripped. It is that stripping by Prop8 which violates the Equal protection clause of the United States Constitution. IMHO

  3. justinw says

    Even if it goes for referendum, I think it stands a good chance of passing. Even the DP law passed with a reasonable margin, and the world has not ended. It’s now a few years later, and a few of the haters have shuffled off this mortal coil, a few more young people are of voting age, and people have had enough time to think about this to not get unduly freaked out at the notion. If the focus is on civil marriage and equality under the law, then fair-minded people are going to at least consider voting for it. We’ve been together 18 years and my partner and I are married in our hearts, and hopefully soon in the eyes of the law. The churches? Meh. Not a factor for us.

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