Governor Chris Gregoire of Washington state held a press conference today to announce her support for the legalization of lesbian and gay marriage. The state currently has a domestic partnership law, but not full marriage rights for same-sex couples. In a press release from her office, Gregoire is quoted as saying (WA.gov):
"It’s time, it’s the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it. I say that as a wife, a mother, a student of the law, and above all as a Washingtonian with a lifelong commitment to equality and freedom. Some say domestic partnerships are the same as marriage. That’s a version of the discriminatory 'separate but equal' argument....''
''Our gay and lesbian families face the same hurdles as heterosexual families—making ends meet, choosing what school to send their kids to, finding someone to grow old with, standing in front of friends and family and making a lifetime commitment. For all couples, a state marriage license is very important. It gives them the right to enter into a marriage contract in which their legal interests, and those of their children if any, are protected by well-established civil law.''
''Throughout our history, we have fought discrimination.... We have joined together to recognize equality for racial minorities, women, people with disabilities, immigrants. Please join today to support equality again in our great state. It is the right thing to do and it is time.''
Think Progress also quotes Gregoire as saying that she has had a challenging evolution on marriage over the past seven years, and she's reached her conclusion, in part, due to of a push from friends and even her own children (ThinkProgress.org):
"And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years."
Several sources reported that Washington state Senator Ed Murray and Represenative Jamie Pedersron plan to introduce the new bills.
Rod Hearne of Equal Rights Washington spoke with KING-5 this morning about the issues involved.