Thomas Roberts: Your bill in Washington state has passed a major hurdle getting through a senate committee. Still opponents though are promising a really tough battle to get this on the ballot if it passes the legislature. Do you believe that this should be on the ballot, or do you think that that’s just unfair?
Gov. Gregoire: You know, I’ve made it very clear to the legislators in my state that it’s time for them to step up and take the vote. So I’m very optimistic at this point that we believe we have at least the 25th vote if not more in our Senate and that we have enough votes in our House. But I don’t want them to say, ‘ok but rather than take the tough vote, I’m just going to send it to the voters’. I think they were elected to make these decisions, it’s time for them to do so, it’s time for us to have marriage equality in Washington state.
Then if the opponents want to put it on the ballot in the fall they are absolutely free to do so, and I believe the people of my state will stand up and say “it’s time for marriage equality”.
Mr. Roberts: I know that there have been a lot of stories done about what’s taking place in Washington state and we’ve seen a lot of major business entities come out now and back the bill that’s taking place there. Just to list a few which people will recognize right off the bat, we have
Does it say anything to you that all of these people that are coming out to say that they support something like this, does it show that the fabric of society is ready for this, to have this implemented and lawmakers just need to get it done?
Gov. Gregoire: I absolutely agree with that, and in fact we’ve been on a long journey in my state. We started not all that long ago with a bill that simply said you can’t discriminate overtly in housing and in employment. And then we moved to Domestic Partnership, then we expanded Domestic Partnership. The voters of my state endorsed Domestic Partnership.
But now is the time for us to step up and say equality means just that, that same-sex couples receive the same license and benefits and rights. We recognize their love like we do the love of a heterosexual couple in Washington state. And the children of these parents should know that we appreciate, respect and admire the love of their parents as we do all parents in Washington state.
So I’m very optimistic right now that we can get it through our legislature and to my desk. But I learned a long time ago, don’t assume. Make sure it gets there and make sure it’s done in the legislature and that if it reaches the ballot, I am still very optimistic my people and my state have gone through a journey that has led them to the conclusion, we cannot be discriminating but we can also honor religious freedom in our state, and that’s the right way for Washington state to go.
Mr. Roberts: I know you’re optimistic, but through my research I think you’re going to get it done, so I want to make a date with you right now to come back so we can talk about it when it happens.
|By: Laurel Ramseyer Friday January 27, 2012 9:19 pm|