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Sam Hunt
Rep. Sam Hunt gave a touching tribute on the floor to his, and his kids' LGBT friends
and family. He said, "Yes, Cal Anderson, this vote is for you."
Bad week for "traditional marriage." Can Newt and Calista Gingrich's sacred union endure the the two day assault?

The Washington state marriage equality bill introduced by Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire and passed by a wide margin in the Washington senate sailed through the Washington house as expected today.

The bill passed the House of Representatives, 55 yea, 43 nay.

A packed house at the House. "This is what equality looks like."—@joemirabella (Twitter)
A handful of amendments "protecting religious liberty" were proposed and voted down, opponents to the amendments argued the Washington constitution has sufficient protections already, and apparently the chamber agreed.

An amendment was proposed to send it directly to the people via initiative. This was voted down, opponents assured the chamber the people would still have the opportunity to challenge it during the standard petition process.

The opponent's arguments? Well, what she said:

In fact, many supporters used their Christian faith as a reason for voting yea. Lots of different opinions about what God asks of us. Overall, the session would have made a great tent revival. As a legislative session, it was rather less inspiring to those who value Church and State separation.
Governor Gregoire (in red) arrives to watch the vote. (@Cimmer/Twitter)
But don't cheer! Though Gov. Gregoire's signature is not in doubt, marriage equality in Washington is not in the clear.

Ok. Raise a glass today, but buckle down to work tomorrow, because evil never rests. And evil is, of course, a reference to National Organization for Marriage, who are already turning the wheels on a petition gathering machine to pull a 180 on Washington State's march toward equality. The Associated Press called the ballot challenge "certain."

And nope. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals very narrow ruling on Tuesday that California can't remove established rights by a popular referendum is not likely to provide an escape for their neighbors northward. [Update: in fact, as the case is still under appeal, it is not considered binding precedent in the Ninth Circuit, even if the precedent does apply.] Although maybe people will give a moment's thought about the folly of voting on civil rights.

• Take action! Join Washington United for Marriage and Daily Kos in thanking Gov. Chris Gregoire for her help putting Washington state on the brink of achieving marriage equality.

We will deliver the signatures after she signs the bill into law.

Originally posted to Milk Men And Women on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:30 PM PST.

Also republished by Angry Gays and Good News.

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