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Just as we were anticipating!

With the Washington state legislature passing the gay marriage bill in a bipartisan vote and a pledge by Gov. Christine Greggoire to sign, it will soon join six states, barring a successful referendum, in recognizing same-sex marriage are New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont – plus the District of Columbia and potentially California in recognizing gay marriage

Unforunately, opponents will have an opportunity to gather 120,000 signatures by June 7 in order to put it on the November ballot. If many of you can recall. Anti-gay activists managed to get Washinton state's domestic partnership law onto the ballot in 2009 but the voters of the great State of Washington upheld domestic partnerships by a vot of 53% to 47% (in an off year election mind you!).

With the recent ruling yesterday by the 9th Circuit re: Prop. 8. Many Seattle area legal experts are suggesting that if the referendum is successful in repealing the law then Washington state would be one state in which the 9th Circuit ruling could have an effect:

Washington state could be affected by 9th Circuit ruling

If Washington lawmakers approve gay marriage only to have voters later ban same-sex weddings, a judge could find similarities with the situation in California that led to the 9th Circuit decision, Stanford University law professor Jane Schacter said.

For one thing, Washington like California recognizes domestic partnership for same-sex couples, Schacter said.

"Washington could be one of the closer analogies, compared say to a state that either doesn't have domestic partnership or never extended marriage (to same-sex couples) in any form or fashion," she said.

Washington state could be affected by 9th Circuit ruling - 2
Seattle-area attorneys say the Proposition 8 ruling, if upheld, could have implications for referenda and initiatives in states such as Washington, particularly within the 9th Circuit.

Peter Nicolas, a University of Washington law professor, said any repeal of the Washington law could be challenged by a gay couple, based on the 9th Circuit ruling.

"The odds of applying the 9th Circuit decision, as written, to a Washington scenario, assuming it stands on appeal, are certainly likely," Nicolas said.

Let's hope it doesn't get to that. I have confidence in the people of Washington state and this is why.

Here is a paraphrase from a floor speech by Rep. Maureen Walsh (R) of Walla Walla (Eastern part of the state) who is also widowed after being married for 23 years:

"In those wonderful 23 years together with my husband, what I miss the most is the companionship and the bond with another human being. It seems almost cruel to me to vote to deny that to someone else."
Let's hope that the voters of Washington state will AGAIN uphold equality.

In any case, as a former resident of the State of Washington, home to major companies such as Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon.com, Starbucks, Nintendo, T-Mobile, Eddie Bauer, Costco, Alaska Airlines, and Rhapsody, I couldn't be prouder to say that I come from there.

THANK YOU Washington state!

3:39 PM PT: Yeas: 55 Nays: 43 Absent: 0 Excused: 0

Voting yea: Representatives Anderson, Appleton, Billig, Blake, Carlyle, Clibborn, Cody, Darneille, Dickerson, Dunshee, Eddy, Finn, Fitzgibbon, Goodman, Green, Haigh, Hansen, Hasegawa, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Jinkins, Kagi, Kelley, Kenney, Ladenburg, Liias, Lytton, Maxwell, McCoy, Moeller, Morris, Moscoso, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Pollet, Probst, Reykdal, Roberts, Ryu, Santos, Seaquist, Sells, Springer, Stanford, Sullivan, Takko, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Walsh, Wylie, and Mr. Speaker

Voting nay: Representatives Ahern, Alexander, Angel, Armstrong, Asay, Bailey, Buys, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dahlquist, Dammeier, DeBolt, Fagan, Haler, Hargrove, Harris, Hinkle, Hope, Hurst, Johnson, Kirby, Klippert, Kretz, Kristiansen, McCune, Miloscia, Nealey, Orcutt, Overstreet, Parker, Pearson, Rivers, Rodne, Ross, Schmick, Shea, Short, Smith, Taylor, Warnick, Wilcox, and Zeiger

5:10 PM PT: FYI: When Washington state upheld the state's domestic partnership law back in 2009, it became the first state in the nation to vote in favor of any type pro-gay legislation by popular vote. If this new gay marriage law ends up before the voters in November, lets hope the people of Washington vote again to affirm gay rights.

Originally posted to mikeymike68 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 at 03:28 PM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Angry Gays, and Good News.

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