On Wednesday, the Washington state Senate passed a bill legalizing same-sex marriage on a 28-21 vote. It’s now headed to the House of Representatives, where insiders expect it to pass by the end of the week.
That means Gov. Christine Gregoire could have it on her desk by the middle of next week; she’s already pledged to sign it.
But that doesn’t mean the new law will be put into effect immediately: The Family Policy Institute of Washington will be filing a referendum as soon as the ink is dry.
“It will stay the implementation of the bill until a vote has taken place,” explained Executive Director Joseph Backholm.
Legislators let opportunities to protect conscience rights for individuals and businesses, including adoption agencies, slide past.
“The state Senate turned down an amendment that would have protected adoption agencies that do not want to place children in same-sex households in violation of their religious beliefs as well,” Backholm said.
Earlier today, the New Jersey General Assembly Judiciary Committee heard testimony on another same-sex marriage bill; a vote could take place within the next few weeks. So far, it has about 34 of the 41 votes needed to pass the Assembly; another 21 would be required from the state Senate. Gov. Chris Christie has vowed to veto it should it pass.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read Washington SB 6239.
Read New Jersey S. 1967.
Read Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse’s Jan. 23, 2012 testimony before the Washington Legislature on same-sex marriage.