Governor Gregoire will introduce marriage legislation in Washington

At a news conference this afternoon, Washington's Governor Chris Gregoire announced that she will introduce legislation to extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples. The Governor's announcement comes just days before the start of Washington's legislative session, in which lawmakers are expected to vote on a bill that would extend marriage to gay and lesbian couples. Governor Gregoire has previously expressed her support for equal protections for same-sex couples but has fallen short of publicly supporting marriage. 

Here's an excerpt of her comments at today's news conference:

"Our gay and lesbian families face the same hurdles as heterosexual families -- making ends meet, choosing what school to send their kids to, finding someone to grow old with, standing in front of friends and family and making a lifetime commitment. For all couples, a state marriage license is very important. It gives them the right to enter into a marriage contract in which their legal interests, and those of their children if any, are protected by well-established civil law." 

Washington currently offers domestic partnerships to same-sex couples. However, support for the freedom to marry in the Evergreen State is overwhelming, with over 55% saying that they would vote to uphold a marriage bill should it pass in the Legislature  

Freedom to Marry is proud to be a founding member of Washington United for Marriage, a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and businesses working together to secure civil marriage for loving, committed gay and lesbian couples. We graciously thank Governor Gregoire for her support and look forward to working with her, state legislators, and marriage advocates to ensure the passage of a marriage bill during this legislative session.

Click here to sign Washington United for Marriage's petition in support of the freedom to marry in Washington state.

Watch Governor Gregoire's speech here, courtesy of Think Progress: