The legislature in the state of Washington may look toward marriage equality this year, The Seattle Times reported this week. Two Democratic representatives - Senator Ed Murray and Rep. Jamie Pederson - who are both gay - have said that they intend to push marriage equality in the legislature this year.
The Seattle Times has more:
Democrats currently hold a 27-to-22 majority in the Senate and a 56-to-42 advantage in the House.
Given that it appears likely lawmakers will have another gaping hole in the budget to deal with next year, it's a bad idea to bring another divisive issue to the table, Swecker said. "It would be unfortunate to try to complicate the legislative process by adding this issue on top of it," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown, D-Spokane, countered: "I believe that it's always the right time to bring up issues of fairness and equality."
That said, Brown's not certain yet if 2012 will be the year her caucus will tackle gay marriage. "I anticipate that we'll get there in Washington state. I don't know for sure if it's this year because we don't have a vote count yet in the Senate," she said.
A legislative push for marriage equality in Washington would join a similar effort in Maryland. Meanwhile, LGBT advocates in three states - Maine, Colorado, and potentially Oregon - are gearing up or have said they may be gearing up for a ballot initiative to legalize same-sex marriage in their states. At the same time, three states - North Carolina, Indiana, and Minnesota may be facing ballot initiatives sponsored by anti-LGBT groups that would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.
Earlier this month, the Suquamish Tribal Council, based in Washington state, decided to honor same-sex marriages.