Is Washington State Ready For Marriage Equality?

By Winston Gieseke

Originally published on Advocate.com August 27 2011 8:05 PM ET

Even though Washington State took almost 30 years to pass a gay rights law, two gay Democrats think it’s about ready for marriage equality.

Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, both Democrats from Seattle’s 43rd District, are considering a major push toward same-sex marriage legislation in January.

According to the Seattle Times, the Evergreen State took nearly 30 years to pass a measure adding sexual orientation to an existing discrimination law. But Murray, the prime sponsor of that 2006 landmark legislation — which was followed in 2007 by the state’s domestic partnership law, which provides same-sex couples legal benefits similar to those of marriage — believes the subject of marriage equality is less “radioactive” than the gay rights bill. “I think people in this state have moved on."

While both Murray and Pedersen say they're in early discussions and will be running the idea past community and legislative leaders, Republican senator Dan Swecker expects strong opposition from his caucus. "I think primarily the Republicans, but [also] some Democrats, tend to support the traditional definition of marriage and think it's a mistake to try to change that," the Times quotes Swecker as saying.

There are still plenty of issues to sort through, Pedersen says, and a decision on whether of not they will proceed will likely be made in the coming months.

Read the full story here.