Friday, January 6, 2012

Washington Governor to Sponsor Same-Sex Marriage Bill

On Jan. 4, Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire announced her plans to make the state the seventh to legalize same-sex marriage.

Gregoire — a Catholic — said in the 20-minute press conference announcing the legislation she will sponsor that she has “been on my own journey” and that “it has been a battle for me with my religion,” but that her beliefs should have no bearing on how she does her job.

Same-sex civil unions, which Washington legalized in 2009, are not the same as marriage, she said.

The announcement marks Gregoire’s first public affirmation of same-sex marriage. Though she’s supported homosexual rights since taking office, she said in her 2004 gubernatorial campaign the state wasn’t ready to take the step into marriage; four years later, she said, “To me, the state’s responsibility is to absolutely ensure equality. The other is a religious issue, and I leave it to the churches to make that call about marriage.”

\Joseph Backholm, executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said he’s fairly optimistic the bill ultimately won’t pass; though both chambers of the Legislature are controlled by Democrats, some have voted with Republicans to oppose bills advancing the gay agenda in the past.

The state’s best interest is served by creating “the greatest probability that children will be raised by their mother and father,” he said.

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