Friday, 10 February 2012

Washington State Legislature Approves Homosexual “Marriage”

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The state of Washington is one step away from the legalization of homosexual marriage following passage of legislation in the state house of representatives on February 8 by a 55-43 vote. The same-sex marriage bill, which had been aggressively promoted by Governor Christine Gregoire (left), passed the Senate on February 1 by a 28-21 vote margin, and with Gregoire’s expected signature on the bill early next week, Washington will become the seventh state to legalize same-sex partnerships as “marriage,” joining New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Iowa — along with the District of Columbia.

“This is truly a historic day in Washington state, and one where I couldn’t be more proud,” Gregoire said in a statement. “With today’s vote, we tell the nation that Washington state will no longer deny our citizens the opportunity to marry the person they love. We tell every child of same-sex couples that their family is every bit as equal and important as all other families in our state.”

Gregoire identifies herself as a Roman Catholic, but apparently has chosen to disregard what her church has written about homosexuality in The Catechism of the Catholic Church:

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

The vote reflects a change of political momentum in the state detrimental to families over the past several years. The Associated Press recalled that in 1998 Washington passed a defense of marriage act that protected traditional marriage in the state, and in 2006 the state Supreme Court confirmed the constitutionality of the law. But that same year “a gay civil rights measure passed after nearly 30 years of failure, signaling a change in the legislature,” reported the AP. “The quick progression of domestic partnership laws in the state came soon after, with a domestic partnership law in 2007. An ‘everything but marriage’ expansion was later upheld by voters years later.”

Gregoire said that with legalization of full-blown homosexual “marriage,” the state has taken “a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

As reported earlier by The New American, passage of the legislation came on the heels of a ruling February 7 in California by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that California’s voter-passed Proposition 8, a state constitutional amendment that effectively defines marriage as between a man and a woman, violates the rights of same-sex couples to marry. Proponents of traditional marriage in California have said they will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Democratic Washington State Rep. Jamie Pedersen, a homosexual lawmaker from Seattle who has authored several “gay rights” bills over the years, cited the California ruling during debate on the bill, declaring that “marriage is the name that society gives to the relationship that matters most between two adults.”

But Republican Rep. Jay Rodne, one of the pro-family lawmakers to vote against the measure, argued that legalizing homosexual partnerships was about nothing more than validating an objectionable lifestyle. “This bill is about acceptance…. Marriage is not about self-actualization, validation, or acceptance,” he told reporters. “Marriage has been the union of a man and a woman. When that union is consummated there is potential for the creation of life. Marriage is about life.” He argued that the bill “severs the cultural, historical, and legal underpinnings of the institution of marriage [and] contravenes human nature, and it will hurt families and children.”

State and national pro-family groups vowed to work together to overturn the law, and to replace it with a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman. “We plan to submit a referendum on this to the secretary of state before the ink is dry on the governor’s signature,” Chris Plante, a regional coordinator for the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), which has led the fight for traditional marriage across the nation, told the Seattle Times. “We’ve got a major constituency. Faith communities across the state will carry a heavy load on this. But they’re not the only ones committed to retaining the current definition of marriage.”

According to the Christian Post, “In order to install a referendum repealing the bill, same-sex marriage opponents would need to collect 120,577 signatures by June 6 — a number NOM and the Family Policy Institute of Washington are confident they can reach.”

Maggie Gallagher, one of the founders of NOM, said passage of the “gay marriage” bill actually provides momentum for defending marriage in the state. “This decision fires up the base and the resentment that elites, political and judicial, are imposing gay marriage without the consent of the governed, Gallagher told Reuters News. “I think it’s going to make it easier, not harder, to get the signatures and to put it to the people.”

The Rev. Joe Fuiten, a local evangelical pastor, told the Seattle Times that pro-family attorneys were already working on the language for the referendum. “We are 100 percent sure there’ll be a referendum, and there’s a 99 percent chance we’ll be successful in getting the signatures,” he said.

The Times also noted that NOM is set to spend up to $250,000 “to help unseat Senate Republicans who crossed the party platform to vote for same-sex marriage.” A total of four Republican state senators voted for homosexual marriage, while three Democrats voted against it. On the House side, two Republicans voted in favor of the bill, while three Democrats voted against it.

One of the attorneys planning the strategy to defend marriage in the state is Stephen Pidgeon, who the Los Angeles Times reported “is planning a parallel effort to define marriage as between a man and a woman, which would need to gather about double the number of signatures — 241,153 — by July 6 to put it on the ballot. The other potential ballot measure would repeal a law, which requires fewer signatures.”

Pidgeon said that pro-family forces “have a tremendous amount of enthusiasm about the initiative. People are gearing up, and we’re going to move ahead strongly, and I believe quickly. We already have hundreds of churches that have already pledged thousands of signatures.”

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