Washington State Legislature passes the freedom to marry

Moments ago on a 55 to 43 vote, the Washington House joined in the State Senate in passing legislation that will extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Today's passage of HB 2516 positions Washington to become the seventh state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage.

Following today's vote, our Director of Public Engagement Thalia Zepatos released the following statement: 

“Freedom to Marry is proud to be a lead coalition partner in Washington United for Marriage, which worked tirelessly to educate legislators and citizens about why marriage matters to gay couples and their families. Today's win also comes as the result of dedication from elected officials like Rep. Jamie Pedersen, whose courageous leadership paved the way for this bill’s passage in the House. Freedom to Marry is prepared to see this victory through so that loving and committed couples in Washington are free to exercise their freedom to marry.”

Governor Gregoire, who was instrumental in passing this legislation, is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. However, opponents of the freedom to marry have until June 6th to turn in the necessary signatures to file for a referendum that would put marriage on the ballot this coming November. Should they file a referendum with a sufficient number of verified signatures, the law would not be implemented until after the election.

Freedom to Marry is proud to be a partner in Washington United for Marriage, the coalition of organizations who successfully pushed for today's historic victory. Today is an enormous win for same-sex couples in Washington, for volunteers who dedicated countless hours to this campaign, and for supporters of the freedom to marry nationwide who are helping to move marriage forward every day.

Congratulations, Washington!