El Senado del Estado de Washington aprovó la propuesta de matrimonio igualitario esta noche 28 (SI) a 21 (NO). Cuatro Republicanos votaron en favor y tres Democratas votaron en contra.
Más adelante se votará en la Cámara de Representantes y se espera que se apruebe. La Gobernadora Christine Gregoire apoya la propuesta y la firmará, sin embargo una vez que la propuesta se combierta en ley, la oposición tendrá hasta Junio para recabar 120,557 firmas validas para poner el tema en las boletas para que los votantes voten en Noviembre si aprueban o no el matrimonio entre personas del mismo sexo (algo parecido a lo que paso en California).
Anteriormente, la mandataria demócrata dijó haber tomado la decisión de apoyar la propuesta, “como esposa, madre, estudiante de la ley, y sobre todo como una ciudadana del estado de Washington con un compromiso de por vida con la igualdad y la libertad”.
Washington será el séptimo estado de la nación en legalizar el matrimonio gay, después de Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Nueva Hampshire, Vermont y Nueva York, además del Distrito de Columbia.
Washington State Senate passes marriage equality bill 6239, 28 (YES) to 21 (NO) tonight. Four Republicans voted with majority Democrats for the measure. Three Democrats voted against it.
Democratic Sen. Ed Murray, gay and the bill’s sponsor, said he knew same-sex marriage “is as contentious any issue that this body has considered in its history.”
The bill is expected to pass the House at a later date, too. Gov. Christine Gregoire supports the bill and would sign it. The opposition will have until June to collect 120,557 valid signatures to put the issue on the November ballot. If opponents aren’t able to collect enough signatures, gay and lesbian couples would be able to be wed starting in June. Otherwise, they would have to wait until the results of a November election.
Washington State would be the seventh to allow homosexual couples to wed. Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. Lawmakers in New Jersey and Maryland are expected to debate gay marriage in 2012, too.
This is a press release from Washington United for Marriage:
Washington State Senate Approves Historic Legislation Legalizing Same-Sex Marriage
Bill passes 28-21 on bipartisan vote; house approval expected as soon as next week
OLYMPIA – Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations that will work to obtain civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington State in 2012, today cheered the Washington State Senate’s vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage legislation in Washington State. The measure passed by a bipartisan vote of 28-21, with 23 Democrats and four Republicans joining together to advance the bill.
“We thank Majority Leader Brown, Sen. Murray and the bipartisan coalition of senators who stood with us today in the name of equality,” said Lacey All, Chair of Washington United for Marriage. “The overwhelming support we’re seeing from businesses, labor, faith communities and people all across the state is a testament to the momentum of this movement and sensibilities of Washingtonians. Volunteers from every part of the state have contributed thousands of hours of their time to make today possible, and we thank them for their commitment to this issue.”
“As small business owners who pride ourselves on contributing to our community, we are so grateful that today has arrived, and especially for the support of our senator, Mary Margaret Haugen,” said Larry Lowary and Gerry Betz, longtime residents of Washington who live on Whidbey Island. “We’ve been together for 23 years and entered into our domestic partnership five years ago. Now we’re looking to the day when we’ll be able to look into each other’s eyes, exchange our vows and finally say ‘I Do’ just like anybody else.”
“The action of the senate today means so much to us, and we thank all the senators who supported this legislation” said Tara Wolfe and A.J. Stolfus, longtime partners from Olympia. “We moved to Washington years ago in part because of the open and welcoming nature of the people here – something we didn’t always see in Kansas. We’re simply overjoyed that our friends, family and neighbors can soon recognize us as spouses and our family as being whole.”
The bill now awaits final house approval, which could come as early as next week. Once the house has passed the legislation, Gov. Chris Gregoire would have five business days to sign it into law, which she has indicated she will do. Opponents wishing to challenge the new law would have until June to collect 120,557 valid signatures – the amount required to place a referendum on the November 2012 ballot.