Lambda Legal Congratulates Washington State Senate for Passing Marriage Equality Bill
"Same-sex couples in Washington are now one step closer to enjoying the freedom to marry, thanks to the impressive efforts of Washington United for Marriage and the bravery of supporters of equality in the State Senate."
(Olympia, WA, February 1, 2012) -- The Washington State Senate this evening approved by a 28-21 vote a bill establishing the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. Lambda Legal National Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor issued the following statement after the State Senate’s historic vote:
"Same-sex couples in Washington are now one step closer to enjoying the freedom to marry, thanks to the impressive efforts of Washington United for Marriage, and the bravery of supporters of equality in the State Senate. We expect this bill to pass quickly through the Washington House of Representatives, and Gov. Gregoire has already indicated she will sign it, bringing the equal right to marry closer to reality for all residents of Washington."
Same-sex couples, and different-sex couples where one partner is at least 62 years old, currently may register as domestic partners with the state. While this status affords domestic partners state law spousal rights and responsibilities, the state has continued to exclude same-sex couples from marriage, designating these couples and their children as inferior, and inviting private bias and discrimination. Today's historic vote brings these couples and their children closer to equality. The legislative effort was led by Washington United for Marriage, a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples.
A vote in the State House is expected as early as next week, and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire has indicated she will sign the measure into law. Marriage equality opponents are expected to launch a referendum effort to overturn the law.
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Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education and public policy work.