[Gov. Chris Gregoire] said at a news conference she’ll introduce legislation that, if passed, would allow same-sex marriage in Washington state.
In 2009 the Legislature passed, and voters later upheld, a bill that greatly expanded the rights of same-sex domestic partners. That measure was known as the “everything but marriage” bill. Nearly 19,000 people in Washington state are registered as domestic partners.
Same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.
There are two institutions in this country – marriage and Christmas – that perpetually have one foot in the secular world and the other foot in the religious world. They are also the perpetual targets of excessively overzealous types who get their pantaloons in a bunch and dash off to their fainting couches if it’s suggested that maybe the supposedly divine origins of either one doesn’t have any kind of grounding in reality. Personally, I think that marriage should be the sole authority of the church, with civil unions controlled by the state. The latter can be defined as a bond between two people with all of the legal benefits of “marriage” given with respect to inheritance, visitation rights, insurance, etc. The church can restrict their own institution however they like and keep it within their own walls, safe from the passage of time.
It would be nice to see this happening in a somewhat less liberal state than Washington … like, maybe, Texas or anywhere in the Bible Belt … but I’m glad to see this in the works anywhere. I do want to point out that Washington – along with Oregon, California, and Nevada – already have domestic partnerships that grant virtually all of the rights of marriage even if they’re not called out as such. Going from allowing this to full marriage is good, but not a tremendous leap. It’s also an easier change for them to implement, since Washington doesn’t have a constitutional ban on gay marriage … only a statute. It’s going to be harder, but not impossible, for us to do the same for that reason.
Six states and DC down … one state TBD … 43 to go!