- Representative Jamie Pederesen (D-43), doing some last-minute typing on the house floor before the debate began.
Watch the livestream here.
1:07 p.m. We begin with attempts—once again—to add another amendment that would protect people whose "conscience" prohibits them from supporting gay marriages. Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45) notes that the bill already includes such protections, and that this new proposed amendment would sneakily blow a hole in Washington's equal protection laws. The proposed amendment is voted down.
1:11 p.m. A Republican attempt to add the text of the First Amendment to the bill. Rep. Larie Jinkins (D-27) says there is no need to "recodify" the U.S. Constitution by adding it to this bill. It's already the law of the land. The amendment is voted down.
1:15 p.m. A Republican attempt to force gay couples to marry using the "traditional" terms of "husband and wife." The amendment is voted down—just like the others—53 to 45.
1:19 p.m. Watching from the wings: Cheryl Pflug and Steve Litzow, the first two Republican state senators to come out in favor of gay marriage.
1:30 p.m. More unfriendly amendments voted down, these dealing with attempts to change "inconsistencies" in the bill's language and an attempt to send the bill immediately to a public vote.
1:33 p.m. And now we're into the speeches by legislators explaining how they'll vote and why. First up, Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43). "Our children deserve to grow up in a state that treats their family with equal dignity," he says. (And notes that he's a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and goes to services with his family every week.)
1:39 p.m. Rep. Jay Rodne (R-5) says "this is not a civil rights issue." He also quotes the Washington State Supreme Court as saying there is no right to a same-sex marriage to be found in our state's constitution. (Of course, the court also said in its gay marriage ruling that nothing prohibited the state legislature from creating gay marriage rights via statute—which is what's about to happen today.) "Marriage is about life," Rodne continues. "It's not about self-validation or self-actualization." And: "This bill, Mr. Speaker, severs the unique and historical underpinnings of marriage, and it harms children." And! If this kind of bill can pass, Rodne says, "I don't know if I want to be here."
1:49 p.m. Well! One thing we learned from Rep. Rodne's speech: The time limits on speeches are longer in the house than they were in the senate (where senators' remarks were limited to three minutes). Rodne's speech seemed to go on and on... But was ultimately gaveled and cut off. Trying to figure out what the time limit on speeches is in this chamber.
1:54 p.m. Meanwhile, from the Secretary of State's office:
As you may recall, Stephen Pidgeon, an Everett attorney who has worked with national anti-gay marriage forces, filed I-1192 back on Jan. 9. The ballot title and summary were issued on Jan. 30, and that language is posted on our 2012 initiatives page (drill down on the yellow block at 1192), and pasted here for your convenience:
Initiative Measure No. 1192 concerns the definition of marriage.
This measure would define marriage as a civil contract between one man and one woman and prohibit marriage when the parties are persons other than one man and one woman.
Should this measure be enacted into law?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
Ballot Measure Summary
This measure would define marriage as a civil contract between one man and one woman. It would also prohibit marriage if the parties to the marriage are persons other than one man and one woman.
This is separate and apart, however, from the referendum that's likely to be filed as soon as Gov. Gregoire signs marriage equality into law.
2:01 p.m. Rep. Laurie Jinkins talks about her lesbian partner, and their family, and—contra Rodne—says she is voting yes to strengthen families.
- Rep. Brad Klippert (R-8)
2:06 p.m. Rep. Brad Klippert (R-8) cites the testimony of the 13-year-old girl who I posted yesterday morning! (The one who spoke about how you need a left shoe and a right shoe, therefore no gay marriage.) Also he cites Genesis as proof of how God created woman as a "helpmate" for man, and Leviticus as proof that "man shall not lie with a man."
2:16 p.m. Anne Levinson, watching from the house gallery, e-mails:
Representative Hunt brought tears to all of us in the gallery here to witness this momentous day with his eloquent and moving description of standing up for the kids he saw grow up in his family rec room. Then he closed by saying his children, wife of 41 years and 91-year old mother all wanted him to vote yes. It was truly a wonderful moment.
2:19 p.m. Rep. Jim McCune (R-2) warns: "God will hold us accountable for what happens here today."
2:30 p.m. And... We've been here an hour and a half.
2:34 p.m. The first Republican to speak in favor of marriage equality—and her lesbian daughter! and her own current lack of sex!—is Maureen Walsh (R-16).
2:42 p.m. Just found out what the time limit on each of these speeches is: 10 minutes. Settle in...
2:57 p.m. Sorry for the slow-blogging. WiFi is in and out in this chamber.
3:02 p.m. Entering our third hour. Openly gay Rep. Marco Liias (D-21) talks about his partner and the "justice" of this bill as Senators Ed Murray and Lisa Brown—as well as Governor Chris Gregoire—look on from the wings.
3:17 p.m. More talk about all the florists and cake-bakers and tuxedo renters and wedding planners whose consciences are about to be crushed by this... "And they were florists," Rep. Matt Shea (R-4) says of his forebearers. "They raised tulips!"
3:24 p.m. VOTING...
3:25 p.m. Marriage bill PASSES, 55 to 43, with two Republicans—Maureen Walsh and Glenn Anderson—joining the majority (and two Democrats—Christopher Hurst and Mark Miloscia—joining the minority).
3:48 p.m. A statement from Governor Gregoire:
This is truly a historic day in Washington state, and one where I couldn’t be more proud. With today’s vote, we tell the nation that Washington state will no longer deny our citizens the opportunity to marry the person they love. We tell every child of same-sex couples that their family is every bit as equal and important as all other families in our state. And we take a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.
I commend our House members and thank Rep. Jamie Pedersen for sponsoring this bill. Our legislators showed courage, respect, and professionalism. I look forward to signing this piece of legislation, and putting into law an end to an era of discrimination.
- Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) hugs Rep. Maureen Walsh (R-16), who voted yea and spoke about her lesbian daughter's right to marry.