Gov. Christine Gregoire has joined the Americans for Marriage Equality video series from the Human Rights Campaign as Washington stands poised to become the seventh state to recognize equal rights for same-sex couples.
HRC released the 36-second spot online Thursday, the day after the Washington State Senate passed the marriage equality bill in a 28-21 vote with support from four Republicans. The bill is expected to pass the House next week, and Governor Gregoire intends to sign it into law.
"As governor, I believe the state of Washington cannot be in the business of discrimination," says Gregoire in the video. "As an American, a wife and mother, marriage equality is fair, just, and right. And it is time."
Governor Gregoire, who will not seek reelection this year, announced she would introduce marriage equality legislation last month after struggling for years to reconcile the issue with her Catholic faith. One of a handful of Catholic governors, and the only woman among the group, to push the issue, she is also the first governor to contribute a video to the Americans for Marriage Equality Campaign. The effort aims to engage the public this year as battles unfold on multiple fronts in state legislatures, voting booths, and courts, while polls show that a majority of Americans support marriage equality.
Advocates in Washington have planned their campaign with the expectation of a referendum this fall. The state became the first to affirm same-sex relationships in a public vote when voters upheld an expanded domestic-partnership law in 2009. Gregoire told The Advocatethat outcome makes her confident that voters would approve marriage equality in a potential referendum.
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