Freedom to Marry Bill Introduced in Wash. State

Two Washington state lawmakers on Tuesday introduced legislation that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry

Two Washington state lawmakers on Valentine’s Day introduced legislation that would extend marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples.

State Sen. Ed Murray and state Rep. Jim Moeller introduced the bill, posting the following message on the senator’s Web site:

“Over the past several years, the Legislature and the public together have been steadily building a bridge to equality for gay and lesbian families,” said Moeller. He noted the passage of civil rights legislation in 2006 protecting gays and lesbians from discrimination in employment, housing, and financial transactions, and then three successive years of securing broader and broader domestic partnership rights — which included successfully withstanding a hostile referendum challenge at the ballot in 2009.

We’ve made tremendous progress since 1998,” Murray said. “Gay and lesbian families in Washington now enjoy the same state spousal rights that their married straight friends enjoy – except for the name ‘marriage’. The recognition that their loving, lifelong commitment is no different from the loving, lifelong commitment of straight couples is the final step to achieving full equality. I believe the Legislature and the public are both ready to take that final step.”

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