It’s a great day to be gay in Washington. The day ended with a victory for the state’s marriage equality supporters, many of whom had flocked to the state capital for a public hearing, sharing stories in an attempt to persuade senators to come up with the votes necessary to pass a same-sex marriage bill.
Well done, Washington. Mary Margaret Haugen (above), a Democrat in a largely conservative district, provided the final vote needed to ensure the bill’s passage. “I happen to be the 25th because I insisted on taking this much time to hear from my constituents and to sort it out for myself, to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy,” she stated.
Lacey All at Washington United for Marriage says LGBT Washingtonians deserve credit for making their influence known, directly contributing to Haugen’s decision.
“We’ve known for a long time that our stories are powerful, and sharing those stories can change hearts and minds,” All said in a statement. “Hundreds of constituents shared their stories of love, commitment and family with Sen. Haugen, and in doing so convinced her that she was doing the right thing for Washington.”
Republican Steve Litzow was the first Republican in the Senate to endorse the bill, first proposed by Governor Christine Gregoire. Litzow told The Advocate, “It’s really consistent with the fundamental tenets of individual freedom and personal responsibility. … It’s all about people getting to live the life they want to live without the government getting involved. It’s a core principle of the type of Republican I am.”
Well, three cheers for aisle-crossing conviction. Especially with the National Organization for Marriage breathing down his neck, threatening to campaign against any Republican who supports the bill.
Seven states down, 43 to go. The rest may not be as easy.
Previously: One Minute News’ Krittika Chatterjee breaks it all down:
(Photo via Wikimedia Commons)