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Marriage Equality in Washington State
January 4, 2012 6:55 PM   Subscribe

Governor Christine Gregoire announces her support for marriage equality in Washington State. "And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years." (SLYT)

Previously.
posted by alms (48 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's probably relevant that -- due to term limits -- she's not running for another term of office.
posted by Slothrup at 6:56 PM on January 4, 2012


Oops, bad on me. Washington State doesn't have term limits. I blame my confusion on seeing her referred to as "Christine"; she's usually "Chris".
posted by Slothrup at 6:59 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, this is EXACTLY what those against marriage equality in WA said would happen if the Everything But Marriage bill became law, which it did. The whole slippery slope thing.

And damn, I'm glad they were right. Go Gregoire! Let's have actual marriage here for once.
posted by hippybear at 7:03 PM on January 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


I can't believe Santorum's getting a surge in popularity at the same time the country is really going forward in the right direction on gay rights in general these days. I mean, DOMA's in jeopardy, DADT is repealed, gay marriage in New York, etc.

Maybe it's just the opposition's last push.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:03 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love it every time I hear a politician expressing their support for equal rights on this issue even though it means facing potential political backlash. Hopefully Obama will start supporting it again someday.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:04 PM on January 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Hmm, interesting. I used to be involved in the marriage equality movement here in Seattle, and Gregoire always seemed lukewarm about the idea. We figured she'd sign it but we'd have to push it through the legislature first. I wonder what led to the change of heart she describes at 3:15.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:11 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marz -- what are the prospects for marriage equality in Washington? I'm afraid that making this choice as a lame duck is a hint that it's not a slam dunk. Next door here in Oregon I know that Basic Rights Oregon decided the time wasn't right yet to push an initiative.
posted by msalt at 7:16 PM on January 4, 2012


I propose a Gay Strike until marriage equality is attained. Just try to get an unlimited mimosa brunch now.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on January 4, 2012 [11 favorites]


Equal Rights Washington has been working on this for years. Today's announcement on this is one of the final stones to be paved in after years of effort. So congratulations to them and to all of Washington's equality groups, as well as Governor Gregoire.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:22 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's just the opposition's last push.

Oh, honey
posted by Riptor at 7:22 PM on January 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


Great job Democrats. Next up:
* educational equality
* health equality
* equality of treatment by the police
* equality of treatment under the legal system
* political representation equality
* information access equality
* equality of capital/material opportunity

Thanks!
posted by crayz at 7:25 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


In Seattle for a meeting, just ordered an expensive bottle of WA wine on hearing this-- here's to you, governor!
posted by homerica at 7:34 PM on January 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Somewhere, Harrison Bergeron is weeping. He is happy. Because this is not the equality of the 211th, 212th and 213th Amendments. Quite the opposite, actually.
posted by alms at 7:36 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I propose a Gay Strike until marriage equality is attained. Just try to get an unlimited mimosa brunch now.
posted by The Whelk at 7:21 PM on January 4 [1 favorite +] [!]

Equal Rights Washington has been working on this for years. Today's announcement on this is one of the final stones to be paved in after years of effort.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:22 PM on January 4 [+] [!]

Maybe we should try an initiative first?
posted by msalt at 7:45 PM on January 4, 2012


Oh my god, youtube comments that don't make me hate humanity.
posted by aspo at 7:47 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


msalt, I don't really know - I dropped out of the process five years ago and have not kept up on the state of play. I was pretty frustrated with what seemed to be a crippling excess of caution in ERW's strategy.
posted by Mars Saxman at 7:51 PM on January 4, 2012


I don't know why, but I got choked up a little bit watching that video.
posted by PJLandis at 8:05 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Damn, but I love my adopted home state. Seattle and Washington state are like a burning beacon of…reasonableness…compared to what I knew in the South. The state's certainly not perfect, but there's this odd quality of pragmatism and fairness that permeates much of the discourse here. Hell, even the conservatives seem mellower than ones elsewhere.

I still marvel regularly at the electorate here; that something can be put on the ballot saying 'we need to do X, it'll cost Y, and here's the tax to pay for it.' And the people here will shrug, say 'sounds reasonable,' and vote yes. Or sometimes they won't, but in either case Washington state usually seems to skip much of the vitriol that poisons debate elsewhere.

I don't even plan on getting married, but goddam it feels good to have my state's governor flat-out tell me I deserve the same civil rights as everyone else. Thank you, Gov. Gregoire, for that great big sigh of relief that just escaped me. It's like a knot of tension I didn't even know was there just…went away.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 8:22 PM on January 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


msalt: Maybe we should try an initiative first?

Not sure what the dynamics are in Washington, but Basic Rights Oregon decided that 2012 wasn't the right year to launch an initiative.
posted by funkiwan at 8:24 PM on January 4, 2012


I don't know why, but I got choked up a little bit watching that video.

I have to admit I cried a little too.

Great job Democrats. Next up:

I can't help but find myself wondering what our decedents will think of us on this and other ethical issues. How will we explain to them that what it was like to live in a society that denied people equal basic rights? Will they think of this as just another example of ways people had strange thoughts in the past like what we think about when we think of how women were treated in before suffrage and feminism or how minorities where treated before the equal rights movement? Will they look at discrimination based on sexual orientation in their time the way most people look at racism and sexism do today? As an aberration? What other issues will they ask each other, how could we have been so wrong about that? What about ideas like vegetarianism and vegan-ism? What about the idea that economic violence isn't just something that applies to only spouses?
posted by Jernau at 9:06 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lame duck or no, it was the right thing for her to do. She expressed that at the end of video, when shifting from the voice of the "state" to her own voice and her own thought process. It was heartfelt.

I expect vehement opposition in my district, but we keep electing Cathy McMorris Rogers (the glassy-eyed zombie of the House Leadership) so what else is new? To be fair there are a lot of open-minded folks out here.

But I'm curious: who did she glance at (with a bit of a smirk) at 0:54 when talking about the hetero divorce rate?
posted by wallabear at 9:33 PM on January 4, 2012


When you watch the video, you can see the Washington State flag behind Gregoire, furled, but the eyes of George Washington are still there, staring straight ahead. There's something beautiful in that.

Of course the founding fathers were wrong about a lot of things. But at their best they believed in a country that could better itself. They saw their country as a work in progress. Not some nation at the end of history, but a country that should evolve and change as necessary.

I like to think of Gregoire as a truly American advocate of change, one that Washington and his ilk would have respected. That's what America means to me.
posted by mcmile at 9:34 PM on January 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eh... Gov Gregoire just sees the way the wind is blowing. Maybe that's "shrewd" or whatever they call it, but she's not a bold advocate for change here. She'll do the right thing--just as soon as it's also politically expedient. If this were about her principles she would have done it years ago. Glad to see it happen, of course, but I won't be in the Gregoire parade. (I'll stop by the Ed Murray parade, though, and I'll bring fajitas.)
posted by kprincehouse at 9:48 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


About friggin' time.
posted by FormlessOne at 9:53 PM on January 4, 2012


PJLandis: "I don't know why, but I got choked up a little bit watching that video."

For me it was when she talked about her internal struggle about the topic. You could see her reliving her inner conflict about it and then her joy in letting go of it and moving forward.

My guess is that she'd wanted to do something like this for a while but felt conflicted because of her religion, and it was realizing that she could take this path out -- that as a representative of the state she could keep the rules of her religion separate from her work -- that allowed her to take this step. That's how I read what she was saying.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:22 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's a slippery slope...
posted by BungaDunga at 10:45 PM on January 4, 2012


How will we explain to them what it was like to live in a society that denied people basic equal rights?

I don't want to sound pessimistic, because this is a great step forward, but the chances that you will have to explain this are very small, because the chances that your decedents will live in a society that grants everyone equal rights are very small. This fight is incredibly important, but there will always be another one.
posted by Errant at 11:04 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Washington State doesn't have term limits.

True, but Gregoire has decided not to run for a third term. In Washington State, the governorship will belong to either Jay Inslee (pro) or Rob McKenna (con) next year.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:06 PM on January 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Don't go singing Washington's praises just yet.

Heckuva lot of right wing evangelicals east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Gregoire, meh, just a pure politician.
posted by spitbull at 11:24 PM on January 4, 2012


Gov Gregoire just sees the way the wind is blowing

Tell me about it. This is great news and all, but Gregoire gets no love from me. You know how we've had shootings of Seattle police officers in the recent past? I have a friend who was up for parole after a very long time in jail. Turned his life around, went to school; a model of an exemplary prisoner. He has backing from a ton of family and friends. The warden is in his favor and said he should get out. The parole board said he should get out. The victim said he should get out. Gregoire denied him. Fucking boils my blood. The fact that he is the only minority out of the three who committed the crime, and the only one still in jail has not escaped anyone. I'm well aware the wind does not blow kindly on violent offenders, especially ones who have brown skin, but Gregoire can fuck right the hell off.

Sorry for the derail, but like I said - Gregoire gets no love from me.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:26 PM on January 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't want to sound pessimistic, because this is a great step forward, but the chances that you will have to explain this are very small, because the chances that your decedents will live in a society that grants everyone equal rights are very small. This fight is incredibly important, but there will always be another one.

I have conversations with my daughters like this all the time - about race, about sexism, and about homophobia. Changes seem slow, and timiing is critical (witness the gay marriage backlash 7 years ago), but when I was born, the South had segregated facilities, Oregon had a ban (unenforced) on interracial marriage, and everywhere in America pretty much had overt redlining for home loans and such. It does change.
posted by msalt at 11:47 PM on January 4, 2012


Fuck this shit. Why are we even talking about how great it is that somebody respects the rights of pairs of individuals? Why isn't this obvious? Why is this even politically contentious?

People live in their homes and live their lives and enjoy the company of other people and pay their taxes and sign up for war (if the cause is just) and raise their children and take care of their children and take care of their parents and life goes on.

Fuck this shit. Life goes on. Don't get in the way.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:10 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


It does change.

Of course it does, and again, I'm not saying that this moment isn't a progressive one. I'm saying that your grandchildren will be grappling with questions of equality that never even occurred to us, and far from asking what we did during this struggle, they'll be asking how we couldn't have recognized the equality of someone who eludes our vision in the present. I'm also saying that's a good thing.

But that's all I have to say about that, because Gregoire is my governor, and I'm very happy for my friends here, and I don't want this to become a derail from good news.
posted by Errant at 12:34 AM on January 5, 2012


Fuck this shit.

I think twoleftfeet made a good point there.

Personally, I'm getting tired of endless years of stupid attitudes towards "what is right". It's not right to keep people from being together. It's not right to channel more wealth towards the wealthy. It's not right to give up our political process to people who pay more. It's not right to interfere in the day to day lives of pot smokers or pregnant women. It's not right to treat compassion and knowledge as a weakness. It's right, and a very good right, to move towards a future that makes happiness a priority.

So I salute you, twoleftfeet.

No relation.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:49 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


what are the prospects for marriage equality in Washington?

Well, looking at this chart, Washington is certainly next in line, while Oregon is a bit farther down the list.

I'd love to see the numbers updated just since 2009 given the legal changes that have taken place since then.
posted by dhartung at 6:32 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heckuva lot of right wing evangelicals east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Heckuva lot of them west of Snoqualimie Pass, too. Look at your election results sometime. The only Democratic landslide in the last federal election in supposed stronghold Seattle metroplex area was when the candidate ran against an Independant with no Republican challenger in the race.
posted by hippybear at 6:50 AM on January 5, 2012


"And let me just tell you, I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years."

Exactly what I said after I found that big bottle of Ativan in the medicine chest.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 7:30 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


An update on the status of the marriage equality fight around the USA.
posted by alms at 7:36 AM on January 5, 2012


Why are we even talking about how great it is that somebody respects the rights of pairs of individuals?

Because the overwhelming majority of the world does not.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:21 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love it every time I hear a politician expressing their support for equal rights on this issue even though it means facing potential political backlash. Hopefully Obama will start supporting it again someday.

furiousxgeorge, that day might well be November 7, 2012. Or shortly thereafter.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:32 AM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


>>Why are we even talking about how great it is that somebody respects the rights of pairs of individuals?
>Because the overwhelming majority of the world does not.


And because we live in a democracy, where pushing that majority to change too fast can make things worse. As it did a few years ago on this very issue.
posted by msalt at 11:01 AM on January 5, 2012


I feel so much better today than I have for the last seven years.

"Heckuva lot of right wing evangelicals east of Snoqualmie Pass."

Only one wing, that explains the erratic flight.
posted by Twang at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hopefully Obama will start supporting it again someday.

Yeah. As much as I disagree with Obama on civil-liberty issues, I actually think that he truly supports gay marriage, but he realizes the time isn't right yet. I hate that he is making a political calculation there, but I'm hopeful we'll see change. And in the meantime the rest of us can fight for it too.

Good to see Governor Gregoire making this statement. There were rumors she was angling for a position in the Obama admin. I wonder if that's still the case.

I blame my confusion on seeing her referred to as "Christine"; she's usually "Chris".

Better than the condescending "Chrissy" I see so often in the local newspaper comments. Ugh. Saw it with previous Michigan Governor Granholm too: "Jenny". Some misogynistic bullshit right there.
posted by formless at 1:22 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


What other issues will they ask each other, how could we have been so wrong about that? What about ideas like vegetarianism and vegan-ism? What about the idea that economic violence isn't just something that applies to only spouses?

I suspect they'll be furious with us for not doing anything about global warming, and all of our other failings will just warrant eyerolls.
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 1:50 PM on January 5, 2012


Heckuva lot of right wing evangelicals east of Snoqualmie Pass.

Most definitely. Republicans outnumber Dems 2 to 1 over here on the east side of the state. Our representative is Doc Fucking Hastings, of all things. I've had lots of closeted atheists comment favorably on my obnoxious atheist bumper stickers, but I also had a car follow me into a grocery store parking lot and the driver give me her "personal testimony" right there. My fundie supervisor has tried to convert me several times. So, please, no referenda on gay marriage; the Gov has much better odds in the legislature. I don't want to see how ugly the ads would get against a gay marriage initiative and I don't want anything extra on the ballot to get the right wingers to the polls in 2012.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 3:03 PM on January 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


N.J. Legislature to introduce bill legalizing gay marriage.
posted by alms at 8:48 AM on January 9, 2012


Gay marriage support increasing in Washington: State Legislature to debate bills to make it legal
posted by alms at 9:55 AM on January 22, 2012


It sounds like a nail-biter: "The state House is widely expected to have enough support to pass same-sex marriage, and Gov. Chris Gregoire publicly endorsed the proposal earlier this month. The state Senate is now just one vote shy of having enough backing to approve the bill, with a half-dozen lawmakers remaining uncommitted.
posted by msalt at 2:58 PM on January 22, 2012


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