As controversial as same-sex marriage still is, the supporters continue to back it up and try to push the legislation. Recent reports say that a bill to legalize gay marriage might just make it in Washington State. If that happens, then Washington will become the seventh state within United States to legalize same-sex marriages.
On Monday, Democratic Senator Ed Murray, a supporter of the gay marriage law, said that the bill has enough votes to pass the Washington State legislature. Supporters say they have the 25 votes required in the state Senate. Senator Mary Margaret Haugen and Governor Christine Gregoire are among the lawmakers backing the bill.
Senator Ed Murray said that he hopes the bill will pick up even more votes to secure at least 27. He will need a strong majority in the 49-member state Senate for the bill to get a positive final vote next month.
Earlier this week, about 100 persons testified before the Senate and House committee, expressing their views for or against the bill. Sergeant Pablo Monroy, age 23, serves in the National Guard and told the committee: “Allow me the right to marry the person who has agreed to stand by me, by my side, no matter what, until death do us part”.
But when it comes to passing bills to approve gay marriage, the opposition fights back hard. To address Ed Murray’s bill, opponents must collect at least 241,153 signatures from registered voters by July 6.
Joseph Backholm, head of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, is one of the opponents. Part of the Focus on the Family movement, Backholm said that “the institution of marriage does not belong to the legislature, it belongs to the people”. Opponents are ready to invest $250,000 in fighting the bill.
Despite the upcoming hardships, Senator Ed Murray remains confident that the present bill has enough support to make it through even in a referendum. “It will be difficult, there’s no doubt about it, but I’m confident that the state is now with us on this issue – that on the issue of marriage equality we are now the mainstream”, he said.