Marriage equality is making its way to Washington state. The state senate passed a gay marriage bill by a vote of 28 to 21 Wednesday, the Advocate reports. It’s expected to sail through the house within the next two weeks.
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire has pledged to sign the bill. With that said, Republican groups are already positioning themselves to overturn the law. Democrat Brian Hatfield is playing both sides of the fence. Hatfield endorsed the bill, but supports putting the law on the ballot.
Sen. Brian Hatfield
"I believe that ultimately this question should be decided by the voters of Washington," Hatfield said.
If approved, Washington would be the first West Coast state to embrace marriage equality. California briefly recognized gay marriage in 2008. Thanks to Proposition 8, a voter-approved ban went into effect.
Personal experiences inspired impassioned pleas from Washington state Sens. Debbie Regala, D-Tacoma, and Kevin Ranker, D-San Juan Island. Regala recalled when her interracial marriage wasn’t legally recognized, while Ranker stressed the love and support of his gay father.
State Sen. Cheryl Pflug was one of four Republicans who supported marriage equality.