Civil Rights

Washington Gay Marriage
7:08 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Decision Personal for Lawmakers

Washington state Rep. Jamie Pedersen speaks on the House floor.
Photo by Azusa Uchikura

OLYMPIA, Wash. – A bill to legalize same-sex marriage is in the hands of Governor Chris Gregoire. It passed the Washington House Wedesday with a 55-43 vote. During the three-hour debate, many lawmakers shared their own personal stories.

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Washington Gay Adoption
5:48 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Anti-Gay Discrimination Hard To Prove In Foster Care Arena

David Wing-Kovarik is a gay adoptive father who runs a non-profit for families like his.
Photo by Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Wednesday, the Washington state House is expected to send a gay marriage bill to the governor. The final measure will likely contain some special language to address a concern raised by faith-based foster and adoption agencies. These state contractors don’t want to be forced to place children with gay couples. But Washington law already prohibits them from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. So how does that work now? As Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins found out, it’s “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:35 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Same-Sex Marriage Clears House Committee

Same-sex marriage passed the Washington House Monday.
Wikimedia Commons

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.

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:04 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Wash. Senate Votes To Approve Same-Sex Marriage

Richard Cannon and Richard Bullock have been together nearly 25 years, and watched the gay marriage vote from the Senate gallery.
Photo Credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, WASH. – The battle to allow gay marriage in Washington has cleared a major hurdle. The Washington state Senate voted [last night] Wednesday night to approve same-sex marriage. The vote was 28 to 21. Four Republicans voting with the majority. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins was there for the historic debate.

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Washington Gay Marriage
5:53 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Gay Marriage Passes Wash. Senate After Civil Debate

Gay rights supporters applaud after the Washington senate votes to approve same-sex marriage.
Photo Credit: Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Four Washington Republicans joined majority Democrats Wednesday night to approve a same-sex marriage bill in the state Senate. The historic vote represents a major step forward for gay rights supporters. Olympia Correspondent Austin Jenkins was there for the debate.

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Washington Gay Marriage
6:23 am
Tue January 31, 2012

Gay Marriage Laws May Prevent Discrimination by Private Businesses

The Washington Legislature votes on legalizing gay marriage this week.
Wikimedia Commons

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Washington appears poised to become the seventh state in the nation to allow gay marriage. Backers say they have the votes in the legislature. The law would exempt churches that oppose same-sex marriage. But not wedding-related businesses. Attorney Steve O’Ban highlighted this recently in testimony against the proposed law.

Steve O’Ban: “There’s no protection either for a small businesswoman for example who runs say a photography business or a printing company to decline to photograph or, say, print a wedding announcements for gay weddings, for reasons of faith.”

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Advocates want E-Verify to remain optional
6:03 am
Fri January 27, 2012

Immigration Laws In Wash. Draws Hundreds To Olympia

Immigrant rights advocates rally at the Washington State House in Olympia.
Azusa Uchikura Northwest News Network

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Immigrant rights advocates are making their voice heard in Olympia. Hundreds gathered to sway legislators on state immigration laws. Azusa Uchikura reports on Thursday’s rally in Olympia.

Pramila Jayapal: “The immigrant voice in Washington state is proud and loud."

Those are immigrant rights advocates rallying on the steps of the Washington state house. They want to convince lawmakers in Olympia to keep E-verify optional for Washington employers.

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