This has been a roller coaster week for marriage equality. On Monday, Gov. Christine Gregoire signed the marriage equality law that was passed in Washington state. Washington will become the seventh state to offer marriage equality starting in mid-June. Currently, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Iowa offer marriage equality, along with Washington D.C.
Washington will become the 7th state to offer marriage equality in the United States. The Senate passed the bill last week and the House passed the bill today. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law, which would take effect after 90 days of the governor’s signature.
Currently, New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington DC have marriage equality for same-sex couples. Opponents of marriage equality have already started gathering signatures to put this to a vote in November; however, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling this week on Prop 8 would probably apply to Washington as well. Washington falls under the same appeals court and the circumstances, if this were to go to voters, would be nearly identical.
With the historic decision by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today, Prop 8 looks to be dismantled. There is still a stay in place on gay marriage while this moves up the chain further, but the limited scope of the case may keep the Supreme Court from taking up the issue.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Prop 8 was unconstitutional today because “the people of California may not, consistent with the federal Constitution, add to their state constitution a provision that has no more practical effect than to strip gays and lesbians of the right to use the official designation that the state and society give to committed relationships, thereby adversely affecting the status and dignity of the members of a disfavored class.” Continue reading Why the Supreme Court May not Touch the Prop 8 Case
After some deep soul searching, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen has announced that she will support marriage equality in Washington, giving the state the needed 25th vote to pass the marriage bill. The Senator talks about her deeply religious history and how, ultimately, the Golden Rule made her decide that marriage equality should move forward.
“I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others. I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule. This is part of my decision. I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs. Continue reading Washington Democratic Senator Mary Margaret Haugen Announces Support for Marriage Equality
It looks like the two coasts are getting behind the ball when it comes to showing your support for the LGBT community with your car. Maryland was the first state to have an LGBT license plate; Indiana was second. South Carolina is looking to be the third.
I find it rather odd that the states that offer marriage equality do not have specialty license plates for the LGBT community. In fact, all three of these states have amendments banning marriage equality and do not even offer partnerships.
I just hope these plates will help the citizens of these states to get on board with marriage equality and LGBT rights.
Christine Johnson, executive director of South Carolina Equality (SC Equality) said, “2012 represents our 10th Anniversary of providing LGBT advocacy in the Palmetto State, and we can think of no better way to kick off our year of celebration! We begin the New Year feeling grateful and fortunate that South Carolina license plate policy allows a broad expression of diverse opinion and organizational support. We have collaborated with the DMV to create a license plate we hope will appeal not just members of the LGBT community, but their families, friends and allies.”