A Few Questions for the Governor

Comments

1
Well, the takeaway from this is that Governor Gregoire has come around and that the legislature needs to go back and get more people on board (see: "15 in the Senate when we need 25."). I think it's do-able in the next year.

For starters, we have Republican Rep. Maureen Walsh of the 16th District on board, which is certainly a foot in the door. She's known for being very forward, which would definitely lend itself greatly to getting a start on working on the Senate since it's likely that if she had the desire, she could easily go and talk to Senator Hewitt on personal terms.

Second, we have Rep. Norm Johnson of the 14th District, also on board, who is pretty good friends with Senator King (to the chagrin of Rep. Charlie Ross). In that, we have Walla Walla, Tri-Cities and Yakima all sorted out.

The adjacent districts tend to vote in-line with these two key districts so I think with a lot of hard work and emphasis on the overwhelming amount of good served by equality. The rest of the work would be tying in hold-outs in the Puget Sound area (excepting districts in Lewis County).
2
Nobody is forcing the legislature, should it be called back, to actually follow any instructions - they could easily decide to force through a bill on that subject that very same day.

If they had guts.
3
So... I take it she wants to see a bill on her desk.
4
I'm not happy about the pace Obama has taken with gay rights, but I'm down right pissed at Gregoire, has she taken a stand on anything, much less gay rights in the state of WA, which by the way has the second gayest city in the nation.

Seriously, if the Republicans were not such freak show, I would consider voting for them, if for no other reason than to force Dems into doing something, anything, progressive.

I really believe that instead of bagging on Obama, we should be pressuring the state to take action, and if they don't, lets not give them the automatic vote they seem to have taken for granted.
5
Good politicking on her part in the interview, and I think the incremental approach of the legislature is pretty savvy.

But - this Mass resident celebrating 5 years of marriage equality today in my state feels bad for ya'll enduring this extended bandaid removal metaphor.
6
Ugh. I lament that I'm a Democrat every time I hear that woman speak. I remember the candidate forum in 2004 where Phil Talmadge and Ron SIms both had excellent, progressive answers on the gay marriage question, and she was as lame and wishy-washy and noncommittal as nay politician could be. She lost my vote that day, and won't regain it until she makes it possible for me to marry my boyfriend.
7
With answers like these I can't help but be reminded that Governor Gregoire was once president of a whites-only sorority. Does she ever take a substantial stand on civil rights issues, or just wait to see which way the wind blows?
8
@4 Voting for Republicans would not force the Dems to become more progressive. Their strategists would decide that the party would need to swing farther to the right to capture the middle that, for some unknown reason, had started voting Republican again. Primary!
9
Darn her, signing the only bill those pragmatists Ed n' Jamie decided to bring her. I trust the snarky interview with them will be posted up in a bit. Why can't all our leaders be inspiraaaaaational?
10
@8, you're right, when it comes to Gregoire my most common reaction is to become irrationally pissed at her utter lack of doing anything of substance. In this case, it truly is the tyranny of the two party system, where my only choice for governor is bad and really fucking bad.
11
Some of you people need a refresher course on separation of powers. You want her to take the lead and are pissed that she won't, when she is telling you that it's the Legislature's job, and you just don't want to listen to that.

All the "bully pulpit" in the world will not change the mind of some legislator from a backward area. IT'S NOT HER JOB TO WRITE THE FUCKING LAWS! Baconcat @ 1 has the situation nailed.

I don't get just what part of "I WANT a bill on my desk" some of you fail to understand. That is about as clear a message as she could deliver. Everybody wants instant gratification, but nobody is entitled to it.

12
"why do you look like Skeletor?"
13
Wait, but does she want to see a bill on her desk? I wasn't too clear on that...
14
@11: Exactly.

Plus, really, all this whinging about the pace of change strikes me as a bit delusional. I mean, do you really think that the current pace is too slow? The "current pace" since the beginning of the Obama administration is one state granting full marriage rights every month.

While I don't think we should let up the pressure, this incremental thing is working beyond any rational progressive's wildest dreams.
15
So, good people of Oregon, maybe you should start following someone "baconcat" and lining up your legislators, lobbying and persuading the naysayers and supporting the moderates who understand that seperate but equal is inherently unequal. Civil marriage for all citizens! Let progressives and friendly moderates and independents know who we should send some nice supportive checks to and who we should be sending firm but friendly persuasive letters to. There is a lot of good work to be done, and we have to help your good governor get that marriage equality bill on her desk!
16
she's saying stop trying to get her to push it, and get the bill to her desk if you have the guts.
17
I am eagerly waiting (though I'm not holding my breath) for the day when the Left stops voting for Democrats and starts voting for a party that actually cares about individual freedoms and liberty for all (Greens, Libs., ect).
18
@ 17:

G etting
R epublicans
E lected
E very
N ovember

Voters aren't as stupid as you think they are.
19
@15. Hey "friendlyindependent," Oregon is in a different boat than Washington. Unlike WA, OR has an amendment to its constitution banning same-sex marriage, which can only be repealed by a ballot measure put to the voters. WA could repeal its statute banning gay marriage with another statute passed by the state legislature. Oregon's legislature is powerless to remove the anti-gay marriage amendment to the Oregon Constitution. What the OR legislature can do in the mean time is expand Oregon's domestic partnership law. Domestic partners in OR don't automatically inherit each other's property absent a will. They also do not have an easier time adopting each others' children than if they had no domestic partnership contract. These provisions were deliberately left out of the domestic partnership law passed by the OR legislature in 2007 as a compromise measure. By now, things have changed enough so that these provisions could surely be added to the statute if the OR Democratic Party would push for that to happen.
20
More about Oregon and the prospects for overturning its constitutional same-sex marriage ban:

In 2004 Oregon's voters approved Measure 36, which banned gay marriage by a margin of 240,990 votes, or 13.3%. It is going to be a very tough battle to overcome those numbers anytime soon. A quarter million votes may not be a lot in California, but that state has a population ten times that of Oregon, so 240,990 is a huge number here.

In 2008 Californians banned gay marriage with Prop 8 by a margin of 599,602 votes, or 4.5%. The same year Arizonans banned gay marriage with Prop 102 by a margin of 277,602 votes, or 12.4%. So even though Arizona is a solid red state its voters were more open to the idea of gay marriage than the voters of Oregon.

Oregon is not as liberal as it likes to think. Portland, Eugene, Corvallis, and Hood River are the only progressive towns in the state. Everywhere else holds approximately the same political values as Idaho. Let's not forget that Oregon used to have a law that blacks entering the state would be publicly whipped and then deported outside the state lines. Ship captains could be fined if they had a black crew member who came ashore in Oregon. When the state constitution was being established the citizens voted overwhelmingly in a referendum to ban all blacks from the state. This law was only repealed in 1927.

Things are definitely changing here and hopefully the very self-conscious and self-righteous of Oregon voters can be shamed into rethinking their past anti-gay votes. But don't expect miracles out of this state - we still have a very long road ahead of us and every step of it will be uphill.