We have few occasions in life to be witness to extraordinary history. This is one of those days. Today same-sex couples in Washington are getting married under a law approved by the voters. The voters have told all our families that they are equal under the law.
It was incredible to see so many couples, each with their own history of waiting for this moment to come. Some, like Jane and Pete-e, and John and Stuart, have been waiting a life time. This moment could not come soon enough.
I have never felt prouder to live in the state of Washington, but it is not enough for me to know that my state treats my family equally. I want every LGBT person in the world to be able to live a life of dignity, respect and equal treatment under the law.
The folks working to get the Washington electorate to approve Referendum 74, which affirms the right of LGBT couples to marry, have found a unique and groundbreaking way to harness Facebook to power their Get Out the Vote operation.
Of all the lies that anti-gay campaigns are airing to scare voters away from supporting marriage equality, the most absurd is the claim that marriage doesn't really matter -- or shouldn't matter -- for committed gay couples.
One of the anti-marriage-equality ads in Maine splashes these dire outcomes across the screen: "Fired. Sued. Fined. Punished." In it, a spokesman for Maine's 2009 campaign to repeal the freedom to marry, a school guidance counselor, claims, "They tried to get me fired."
The radiant promise of freedom and human rights that drew me to the United States in 1980 will become brighter when the voters of Washington affirm that freedom includes the freedom to marry. It will be a celebration of the moral and spiritual arc that always bends toward inclusion!
Ultimately, to secure the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide, intervention by federal courts is necessary. But if our pleas are to be successfully heard by sympathetic judges, we must expand the patchwork of states recognizing same-sex marriage to the greatest degree possible.
In my seven-year tenure as governor of the great state of Washington, yesterday was one of the best. That's when I signed the bill providing marriage equality for all Washingtonians, and it is the day when our state said, quite simply, that love is love.
I am incredibly proud to congratulate Washington State Representative Pedersen and Senator Murray on the day Governor Gregoire signed the bill into law, and welcome them into the next stage of the fight for marriage equality.