Same Sex Marriage in Washington

Washington governor Chris Gregoire has signed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington. Hooray–the SSM juggernaut rolls on.

When Gregoire signed Washington’s “everything but marriage” domestic partnerships bill into law in 2009, I predicted it was the prelude to full-blown same-sex marriage in the state because it authorized all the legal rights of marriage in domestic partnerships, withholding only the name. It was a camel’s nose under the tent kind of ploy, and I said at the time it would allow Washingtonians to get accustomed to the idea, and eventually realize that there wasn’t any gain in withholding the word. (Although on the potential significance of the word itself, see Burt Likko’s comment on the 9th Circuit’s Prop 8 decision.)

Of course local bigots are planning to put a repealing initiative on the ballot. Hellfire and damnation, why can’t they just leave people alone?

Once upon a time opponents of SSM used to (correctly) claim that SSM had never been enacted democratically. Nowadays they’ve had to drop that argument, because Washington follows New Hampshire, D.C., New York, Vermont, and Maine (although Maine’s law was repealed by a vote of the public–on the other hand, the public’s likely to vote on it again this year, and if the new initiative passes, it will be the first time SSM has passed through citizen initiative).

Even conservatives at this point recognize that same-sex marriage is here to stay. All they can hope for now is a semi-successful rear-guard action to keep it from spreading to every state. I’m reminded of the British toast from the Napoleonic wars, “Confusion to our enemies!”

About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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7 Responses to Same Sex Marriage in Washington

  1. Dr X says:

    We had civil unions that are effectively same-sex marriage enacted into law by the Illinois legislature last year. I’m hopeful we will also see full state equality soon.

    By the way, what happened to all those military men and women who were supposed to abandon the military after the end of DADT?

  2. James Hanley says:

    By the way, what happened to all those military men and women who were supposed to abandon the military after the end of DADT?

    Turns out they’re more patriotic and duty-conscious than the cowardly chicken-hawks squawking it up in the media.

  3. Lance says:

    Soon the whole issue is going to be “ho hum” as religious bigots realize they are being ostracized rather than endorsed.

    In other crazy religious news…

    Mormon church apologizes for baptisms of Wiesenthal’s parents

    Yes, members of one loony religion get mad at members of another loony religion for baptizing dead people by proxy.

    Now if they had actually dug up Wiesenthal’s parents and dunked them I could see the fuss, but why validate this goofy nonsense by even acknowledging it let alone getting your panties in a twist about it?

    Are they really worried that Granny and Granpa Wiesenthal will have to don funny underwear and abstain from heavenly java?

  4. Dr. X:

    I’m not as confident as you are about Illinois. I haven’t much evidence for my lack of confidence–other than my own pessimistic temperament–but ever since I moved here to Chicago, Illinois has struck me as a profoundly socially conservative state. However, as I said, I’m just basing this on my impressions.

  5. Dr X says:

    Pierre Corneille,
    I heard Pat Quinn responding to a question about it during an interview late this morning.

    Podcast 13min-14:30

    http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-02-15/governor-quinn-comes-wbez-96441

    Doesn’t sound like we’re there yet.

  6. Dr. X:

    Thanks for the link. Unfortunately, it’s evidence that you (and I) are right that we’re not there yet. However, at least Quinn, in claiming to “believe in the process,” didn’t outright speak against ssm. I guess that’s a plus.

  7. Troublesome Frog says:

    Lance:

    Yes, members of one loony religion get mad at members of another loony religion for baptizing dead people by proxy.

    Did you see Bill Maher’s unbaptism of Mitt Romney’s father in law?

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