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04/19/2007


Gay Senator Ed Murray Speaks and Washington Senate Votes to Pass Marriage Equality Bill: VIDEO

Murray

Last night, just before the state Senate vote passing marriage equality, Senator Ed Murray took the floor and acknowledged that he would soon be marrying his partner Michael. AP:

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, the bill's sponsor, said he knew same-sex marriage "is as contentious as any issue that this body has considered in its history."

Lawmakers who vote against gay marriage "are not, nor should they be accused of bigotry," he said.

"Those of us who support this legislation are not, and we should not be accused of, undermining family life or religious freedom," said Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has spearheaded past gay rights and domestic partnership laws in the state. "Marriage is how society says you are a family."

Murray mentioned his partner of more than 20 years — Michael Shiosaki — as he told his Senate colleagues before the vote "regardless of how you vote on this bill, an invitation will be in the mail" to their future wedding.

The Senate then voted 28 - 21 to pass the bill, setting the stage for the House vote (which is expected to be favorable) and the passage of marriage equality in Washington State.

Watch Murray speak and the roll call be taken, AFTER THE JUMP...

Rollcall

Continue reading "Gay Senator Ed Murray Speaks and Washington Senate Votes to Pass Marriage Equality Bill: VIDEO" »


Marriage Equality Bill Introduced in Washington State

SB 5793, a marriage equality bill, was introduced in the Washington state senate today. A matching bill is set to be introduced in the House tomorrow.

From Senator Ed Murray's office:

Murray In early February of 1998, in what has proven to be the darkest of Valentine's for gay and lesbian families in our state, the Legislature enshrined discrimination as the law of the land in Washington by overriding the veto of then-Gov. Gary Locke to approve the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act."

This Valentine’s Day, Rep. Jim Moeller, D-Vancouver, and Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, said the night is darkest just before the dawn.

"Over the past several years, the Legislature and the public together have been steadily building a bridge to equality for gay and lesbian families," said Moeller. He noted the passage of civil rights legislation in 2006 protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, and financial transactions, and then three successive years of securing broader and broader domestic partnership rights -- which included successfully withstanding a hostile referendum challenge at the ballot in 2009.

"We've made tremendous progress since 1998," Murray said. "Gay and lesbian families in Washington now enjoy the same state spousal rights that their married straight friends enjoy – except for the name ‘marriage’. The recognition that their loving, lifelong commitment is no different from the loving, lifelong commitment of straight couples is the final step to achieving full equality. I believe the Legislature and the public are both ready to take that final step."

Under the proposed legislation, religious freedom is protected as is the clergy's right to choose for whom to perform marriage ceremonies. Also, domestic partnerships are maintained.


News: Otter, Angels in America, Maine, L Word, Gravy Wrestling

RoadAngels in America to get New York revival.

RoadDiane Sawyer to replace Charles Gibson as ABC World News Tonight anchor.

Gravy Road30-year-old Joel Hicks wins UK Gravy Wrestling championship. Video.

RoadReal Housewife of Atlanta bares her titties for the gays.

RoadUK farmer unleashes pigs to deter gay men from cruising in his woods.

RoadGay Pride group settles lawsuit with city of Birmingham, Alabama: "The group filed the federal lawsuit in 2008 over Mayor Larry Langford's attempt to withhold a parade permit from the group and his banning city workers from installing parade banners on city property. David Gespass, an attorney for Central Alabama Pride, said the city will craft a nondiscrimination policy when it comes to hanging banners and will pay the group's costs and legal fees. The city will pay $40,350 for legal fees and the lawsuit filing fee."

RoadFamily Research Council's Tony Perkins headed to Maine to fight marriage equality.

RoadMeet the guy who's casting Maine's anti-gay marriage equality ad.

RoadCate Blanchett struck with radio, injured during performance of A Streetcar Named Desire.

Facinelli RoadPeter Facinelli and co-star Haaz Sleiman pucker up for Nurse Jackie.

RoadThe L Word to go real life: "Show will follow six lesbians in Los Angeles as they go about their lives -- a lesbian answer to Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise. Project is dependent on casting, the net said; if all goes as planned, "The Real L Word" would debut sometime next year."

Road25 lesbian tattoos.

RoadDolphin slaughter suspended in Japan: "Today is September 1st, the first day of the dolphin slaughter season in Japan. But when I arrived today by bus from Kansai Airport with media representatives from all over the world, the notorious Cove from the movie was empty. There were no dolphin killers in sight. So today is a good day for dolphins!

RoadGay resort opens in Tampa.

Otter RoadAlbino otter spotted in Scotland!

RoadWATCH: Whitney Houston performs in Central Park.

RoadHungarian police give go-ahead for Gay Pride parade on Saturday.

RoadThe 5 Gayest Beaches in Southern California.

RoadWashington State Senator Ed Murray won't enter Seattle mayor's race: "Murray had been considering a write-in campaign after T-Mobile executive Joe Mallahan and Sierra Club activist Mike McGinn advanced to the November general election in last month's primary. In a statement released Tuesday, Murray says he needs to focus on the upcoming campaign to get voters to approve Referendum 71, which has qualified for the November ballot."


News: Gerard Butler, Gay Adoption, Dominick Dunne, Anchorage

RoadFlorida ban on gay adoption goes before appeals court.

RoadSummer of loss: Writer Dominick Dunne, songwriter Ellie Greenwich die.

Eudysimelane RoadTrial resumes for killers of South African lesbian football star Eudy Simelane, targeted with "corrective rape" and stabbed to death because of her sexuality: "Men are unemployed and feel traditional male preserves — such as football or drinking in a bar — are under attack. That was Eudy’s crime. An aggravating factor was that she did not look like a typical female. People are just getting killed here because they are different, like HIV-positive people have been killed in the past. What is important is to get a verdict which includes murder."

RoadGerard Butler and his pug Lolita in doggie dust-up.

RoadDueling dot-coms battle for .gay domain address.

RoadState senator Ed Murray mulling write-in campaign in Seattle mayoral race.

RoadLesbian Houston City Controller Annise Parker is among top contenders in mayoral race: "She’s the most experienced, most well-known candidate in the race, but the anti-gay far right knows this too, so we fully expect them to use her sexual orientation to divide and distract the voters. We’re preparing for that."

RoadEd Westwick hangs out with his Gossip Girl gay kiss recipient Neal Bledsoe.

Ford RoadTom Ford's London home on the market.

RoadAdvocate interviews gay men who created Miley Cyrus 'Party in the USA' Fire Island video.

RoadNew Jersey Catholic bishops launch campaign against marriage equality.

RoadCelestia is back and crazier than ever.

RoadKylie Minogue talks about first North American tour with Black Book magazine.

RoadFreelance writer goes undercover at "ex-gay" seminar.

Russianlesbians RoadRussian lesbians protest postponement of court hearing over marriage challenge with a kiss: "Ms Fedotova-Fet and Ms Shipitko applied to marry at a Moscow registry office in May, but were refused on the grounds that same-sex marriage is illegal in Russia. The couple argue that Russian law does not forbid such a union. A court ruled the refusal was legal and their complaint would be heard today."

RoadFirst online gay rights and support group formed in the Maldives. Official site.

RoadAfton, Minnesota home targeted with anti-gay graffiti.

RoadGay High Line founder Robert Hammond rewarded handsomely by board of directors.

RoadIn Anchorage, it looks unlikely that the Assembly will move to override the veto of a gay rights ordinance by Mayor Dan Sullivan: "The first opportunity for the Anchorage Assembly to override Mayor Dan Sullivan’s veto of an ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation went by Tuesday night without action."


Washington Domestic Partner Bill Under Attack Before It's Signed

Larry Stickney, President of the Washington Values Alliance, yesterday filed a referendum intended to send Washington's recently passed "everything but marriage" domestic partnership bill to the voters. The bill which provides same-sex partners nearly all of the rights of married couples, is expected to be signed into law shortly by Governor Christine Gregoire.

Stickney The Spokesman Review reports: "On Monday, Stickney filed Referendum 71, which would overturn the law. He and other members of what he described as a broad coalition have until July 25 to gather the more than 120,000 voter signatures needed to get it on the November ballot...Opponents of the changes say that the latest round is de facto same-sex marriage. 'We consider it marriage,' said Stickney. And even if not, he said, the legislation almost certainly sets up a court challenge that could throw out the state’s ban on gay marriage. Across the country, Stickney said, 'we’re seeing marriage achieved by judicial fiat. And this kind of legislation kind of tees it up for the courts to act.' Stickney was clearly caught off guard to find several reporters waiting for him at the secretary of state’s elections office when he filed the measure Monday afternoon. He would only answer a few questions, saying that more details would come out later in a news release."

Fuiten The Stranger reports that Stickney's allies are leaving him: "Pastor Joe Fuiten, a director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington—the state wing of Focus on the Family—sent an email to his flock yesterday denouncing the referendum. First, Fuiten weighs the benefits of support, including 'making a statement of belief.' Fuiten then enumerates a longer, more cogent list of reasons not to run a referendum." According to The Stranger's Dominic Holden, Fuiten cites several reasons for his denunciation: the referendum would be rejected by voters, the last signature-gathering effort failed, people don't care about taking away gay rights, people don't have the money for the fight, and the group is afraid to look like out-of-touch bigots.


Desperation in WA as Domestic Partner House Vote Nears

Washingtonrally

Dominic Holden of Slog reports on the rally held by anti-gay religious folks on the steps of Washington's Capitol Building in Olympia yesterday in anticipation of the House taking up a Domestic Partner bill that has already been approved by the state senate and has more co-sponsors in the House than it needs to pass.

Said state senator Ed Murray, the bill's sponsor in the senate, of the rally: "I think the rally is probably more of an attempt by certain organizations to find a reason for being, to fill their own coffers and keep their own organization going. They are down in polls and down in the legislature. It is not a happy time for them."

The measure would provide virtually every right of marriage but the name. That, Murray has hoped, would be the next step.

(image: ryan leisinger - slog)

Murray talks about the bill, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Desperation in WA as Domestic Partner House Vote Nears" »


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