Thursday, February 02, 2012

Washington Seventh State for Same-sex 'Marriage'

Four Republican Washington state senators joined all but three Democrats to pass the "gay marriage" Senate Bill 6239 by 28-21. The state House is expected to pass the bill by a larger margin next week, and Gov. Chris Gregoire has promised that she will sign it into law immediately.

"It saddens me that there aren't more Christians here tonight," said citizen Jane Sterland standing outside the Senate gallery.

UPDATE 6/11/12: Citizen petition to reject law succeeds overwhelmingly

For background, read 'Gay Hate Crimes' Planned Against Christians Who Sign Petition

-- From "Washington Senate passes bill legalizing same-sex marriage; final vote will come in House" by The Associated Press 2/2/12

“Those of us who support this legislation are not, and we should not be accused of, undermining family life or religious freedom,” said [Sen. Ed] Murray, a gay lawmaker from Seattle who has spearheaded past gay rights and domestic partnership laws in the state. “Marriage is how society says you are a family.”

Nearly a dozen amendments were debated, including several that passed that strengthen legal protections for religious groups and organizations. A handful were rejected, including one that would exempt photographers, cake decorators and other business owners who object to gay marriage from the law, and another that called for a referendum clause to be added to the bill.

Even though the referendum clause amendment was rejected, opponents have already promised to file a challenge to the legislation. But that can’t be done until after it is passed by the full Legislature and signed into law by Gregoire. Opponents then must turn in 120,577 signatures by June 6.

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.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Bill legalizing same-sex marriage passes Washington state Senate" by Andrew Garber, The Seattle Times 2/2/12

Sen. Dan Swecker, R-Rochester, a longtime opponent of gay-marriage legislation, said he’s worried about the impact the law could have on people who oppose same-sex marriage because of their religious beliefs.

"I’m extremely concerned that without additional protections this legislation will create a hostile environment for those of us who believe in traditional marriage," he said.

Supporters of the bill also had to fend off a push to let the voters decide. An amendment to put the measure on the November ballot, sponsored by Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, was defeated by a 26-23 vote.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.