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February 10, 2012

Washington lawmakers pass full marriage bill

Olympia, Wash.--After passing the Washington Senate on February 1 in a 28-21 vote, the marriage bill introduced by Gov. Chris Gregoire passed the state House by a vote of 55-43 on February 8.

The vote came two days after the measure passed a House committee by a 7-5 vote. The Senate had been expected to be the real sticking point, until a 25th state senator indicated she would vote in favor of the legislation.

The House Judiciary Committee rejected a number of amendments, including adding private businesses to the religious exemption and automatically triggering a referendum.

Gregoire has promised her signature before Valentines Day.

Opponents of marriage equality have vowed a referendum. They would need to gather over 120,000 valid signatures by June 6 to put the issue on the ballot.

The bill would give same-sex couples already registered as domestic partners in Washington two years to file an end to their domestic partnerships or get married. After that, remaining domestic partnerships would automatically be converted to full marriages.

The bill is supported by a number of large corporations with headquarters in the state, including Amazon, Nike, Microsoft and Starbucks.

New Jersey

Across the country, supporters of New Jersey’s same-sex marriage bill are still trying to gather enough yea votes to pass their legislation. Even as the Assembly was ready to pass it out of the Judiciary Committee, Democrats in the chamber tallied 34 of the 41 votes they needed. The bill needs 21 votes in the New Jersey Senate to send it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk, where he is likely to veto the measure.

Christie has been the target of widespread criticism over the last few weeks as he puts his foot in his mouth over the issue. He believes the matter should be left to voters at the ballot box, and said that civil rights leaders in the 1960s would have preferred to leave their struggles to voters. He meant that they would have preferred that to the violence they faced in their protests, but had to explain it after drawing fire for the comments, which made it seem as if the general public would have voted in favor of civil rights legislation in the 1950s and ’60s.

He then referred to a gay state legislator who criticized him for the remarks as a “numbnuts.”

Maryland

Hundreds of people came out for Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearings on January 31 in Annapolis, Maryland, where Gov. Martin O’Malley followed Gregoire’s lead in January and introduced full same-sex marriage legislation. A committee vote is expected within weeks.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, meanwhile, Republican state legislators seem to be backing off their threatened efforts to introduce legislation to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law, saying they would rather focus on economic issues than social issues.

They said something similar last year, but still pushed through bills mandating parental notification for abortions for minors.

In the governor’s office, however, Gov. John Lynch promised to veto any bill repealing marriage equality.

Washington lawmakers pass full marriage bill

Olympia, Wash.--After passing the Washington Senate on February 1 in a 28-21 vote, the marriage bill introduced by Gov. Chris Gregoire passed the state House by a vote of 55-43 on February 8.

The vote came two days after the measure passed a House committee by a 7-5 vote. The Senate had been expected to be the real sticking point, until a 25th state senator indicated she would vote in favor of the legislation.

The House Judiciary Committee rejected a number of amendments, including adding private businesses to the religious exemption and automatically triggering a referendum.

Gregoire has promised her signature before Valentines Day.

Opponents of marriage equality have vowed a referendum. They would need to gather over 120,000 valid signatures by June 6 to put the issue on the ballot.

The bill would give same-sex couples already registered as domestic partners in Washington two years to file an end to their domestic partnerships or get married. After that, remaining domestic partnerships would automatically be converted to full marriages.

The bill is supported by a number of large corporations with headquarters in the state, including Amazon, Nike, Microsoft and Starbucks.

New Jersey

Across the country, supporters of New Jersey’s same-sex marriage bill are still trying to gather enough yea votes to pass their legislation. Even as the Assembly was ready to pass it out of the Judiciary Committee, Democrats in the chamber tallied 34 of the 41 votes they needed. The bill needs 21 votes in the New Jersey Senate to send it to Gov. Chris Christie’s desk, where he is likely to veto the measure.

Christie has been the target of widespread criticism over the last few weeks as he puts his foot in his mouth over the issue. He believes the matter should be left to voters at the ballot box, and said that civil rights leaders in the 1960s would have preferred to leave their struggles to voters. He meant that they would have preferred that to the violence they faced in their protests, but had to explain it after drawing fire for the comments, which made it seem as if the general public would have voted in favor of civil rights legislation in the 1950s and ’60s.

He then referred to a gay state legislator who criticized him for the remarks as a “numbnuts.”

Maryland

Hundreds of people came out for Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee hearings on January 31 in Annapolis, Maryland, where Gov. Martin O’Malley followed Gregoire’s lead in January and introduced full same-sex marriage legislation. A committee vote is expected within weeks.

New Hampshire

In New Hampshire, meanwhile, Republican state legislators seem to be backing off their threatened efforts to introduce legislation to repeal the state’s same-sex marriage law, saying they would rather focus on economic issues than social issues.

They said something similar last year, but still pushed through bills mandating parental notification for abortions for minors.

In the governor’s office, however, Gov. John Lynch promised to veto any bill repealing marriage equality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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