Congratulations, Washington State! On Monday, Governor Christine Gregoire signed legislation legalizing same sex marriage between couples in the state.
Gregoire's voice broke as she descrbed conversations with her two daughters, who told her that marriage equality was "the civil rights issue of their generation . . . Thank you to that younger generation and my two daughters."
The governor presided at a ceremony in Olympia, joined by legislative leaders and the longtime same-sex partners of such lawmakers as Sen. Ed Murray and Reps. Jamie Pedersen and Laurie Jinkins.
The law goes into effect on June 7, unless opponents succeed in gathering 120,577 valid voter signatures to force a referendum in November. If so, marriage equality would be held up pending a decision by Washington voters.
She's right. In a few more years, people will wonder what the big deal is. My 17-year old daughter does not understand why people want to bar committed same-sex couples from affirming their commitment legally and publicly. The difference? She understands because she has long-term friendships with gay friends. The ignorance factor just doesn't exist.
Of course, this will not stop the haters from trying as hard as they can to pull a Proposition 8 move in Washington State. They're already launching their campaign, and I'm sure they've got plenty of help from the Mormon and Catholic church members in that state.
Ex-Sen. Rick Santorum, a scathing critic of marriage equality, will meet this afternoon in Olympia with opponents of the bill Gregoire signed into law. The Republican presidential candidate holds a rally with supporters tonight at the Washington State History Museum in Tacoma.
The Family Policy Institute and the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle had asked followers to call on Gregoire to veto the marriage equality bill. A statement by diocesan bishops, critical of the law, was included Sunday in Catholic parish bulletins.
The Family Policy Institute is one of NOM's front groups and regularly emits fits of hysteria over same sex marriage. They also really like using culture war issues like this to try and get out the vote for conservative candidates. It's a common tactic of theirs.
Stand firm, Washington State, and in the meantime, congratulations to all of the couples waiting to get married. I look forward to seeing wedding albums.