This week, Washington Governor Chris Gregoire announced she will introduce a bill to legalize marriage equality. Gregoire, a Catholic, said she’s always felt conflicted about same sex marriage for religious reasons, but came to believe it was discrimination:
We applaud the generations before us for their wisdom and for their courage to fight for equality. Now it’s our time. It’s this generation’s call to end discrimination … against our gay and lesbian citizens.
The bill would not force religious institutions to perform same-sex marriages.
Recent polling has shown increased support in Washington state. In October, the University of Washington released a study that showed 55 percent of residents would support a Legislature-approved same-sex marriage law.
The legislature begins its 2012 session on Monday and will attempt to find $1.5 billion in cuts. Sen. Joe Zarelli warned that the marriage equality bill would create discord among lawmakers trying to pass a balanced budget because culturally, “it tears people apart.”
Do you live in Washington? Do you support the Governor’s decision and timing? Would you support a Legislature-approved same-sex marriage law?
- Eli Sanders: Associate editor at The Stranger
- Laurie Jinkins: Washington state representative (D-Tacoma)
- Joseph Backholm: Executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington