OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gay marriage supporters are thrilled. Opponents are gearing up for a ballot fight. That’s the dynamic after the Washington House voted Wednesday to send a same-sex marriage bill to the governor. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins watched the historic vote from the House galleries and has reaction.
Up in the marble nosebleeds, proponents of gay marriage watched the debate quietly. But when the vote was tallied.
The celebration went on for more than a minute. Susan Fairo cheered with her partner of 17 years.
Susan Fairo: “I’m relieved, I’m delighted. Felt like a historic moment. So, we’re a step farther.”
Governor Chris Gregoire has five days to sign it into law. But not everyone was applauding. Several gay marriage opponents sat with faces grim. Out in the rotunda members of the Catholic Knights of Columbus held signs declaring marriage as between one man and one woman. Bob Struble among them.
Bob Struble: “I think that it’s a huge mistake. Every time this matter has been put to a vote of the people, as it has in 31 states, the people have reaffirmed traditional marriage.”
National groups that oppose gay marriage are already on the ground in Washington preparing a repeal effort at the ballot.