Joe McDermott, King County Councilmember

With an 8-1 vote on Monday the King County Council sent a strong bipartisan message to the state legislature that King County supports the passage of a marriage equality law this session. Legislative leaders are expected to introduce a marriage equality bill later this week.

The endorsement came in the form of an amendment to the King County 2012 Statement of State Policy, the county’s official statement of priorities for the Washington state Legislature’s current session.

From The Seattle Times:

Joe McDermott, the first openly gay county council member, sponsored the marriage statement. McDermott said it was consistent with language backed by Gov. Chris Gregoire and primary sponsors of state legislation, Sen. Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pedersen, both from Seattle.

McDermott said he and his partner Michael Culpepper were engaged late last year. Marriage is important to them, McDermott said, because it’s a term that’s “universally understood,” that explains a relationship in a way “domestic partnership” does not.

“I don’t want to leave Washington state to be married to the man I love. I want that opportunity here,” he added.

All five Democrats and three of the four Republicans on the council voted for the amendment, including Councilmembers Bob Ferguson (D) and Reagan Dunn (R) who are vying for the Washington State Attorney General’s office being vacated by marriage equality opponent Rob McKenna. Ferguson has been a consistent supporter of LGBT equality, including marriage equality, throughout his career whereas Monday’s vote constituted Dunn’s first pro-marriage-equality statement.

King County is the most populous county in Washington and stretches from its western border on Puget Sound eastward to the crest of the Cascade Mountains.

To keep up-to-date on news about the Washington marriage bill, be sure to “like” the Facebook page for Washington United for Marriage, sign up for WUFM’s e-mail alerts, follow WUFM on Twitter (@WA4Marriage, #WA4M), volunteer and consider making a donation.

Related:
* Republican Sen. Steve Litzow Announces Support for Washington’s Marriage Equality Bill
* Gov. Chris Gregoire is the 3rd Catholic Governor in a Row to Champion Marriage Equality
* Governor Chris Gregoire Announces in Powerful Speech That She is Personally Introducing a Marriage Equality Bill