Same-Sex Marriage Clears House Committee

Feb 7, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash. - One more vote by the full Washington House is all that remains before same-sex marriage goes to the governor's desk in Olympia. In a narrow vote Monday, a House committee moved the gay marriage bill forward. A floor vote could come as early as Wednesday night.

In testimony Monday, gay rights activist Charleen Strong introduced a panel of lawmakers to her newborn daughter.

"And it is my hope that she will know that her moms have the right to be married and to be a family, just as many other Washington families have," Strong said.

In recent weeks, gay rights advocates have compared their push for same-sex marriage to prior civil rights campaigns. But Pastor Ken Hutcherson of Antioch Bible Church objected to that comparison.

"It is so important for you to understand that what you are asking me to do as an African-American is accept what you are going through because you are uncomfortable," Hutchison said. "Not because you're persecuted, not because you're hung in great numbers simply because of your color."

The same-sex marriage bill passed the Washington Senate last week. Opponents are vowing to force a referendum vote. If they succeed, the new law would be on hold until voters have their say in November.

Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network