Topic: gay marriage
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January 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM
Note: This post has been updated with a response from Dan Sytman, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.
Outgoing Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna, who joined a lawsuit against President Obama’s healthcare overhaul, appeared to show support for the law during Gov. Chris Gregoire’s farewell speech Tuesday.
McKenna’s gesture was small — he stood up, along with a group of mostly Democrats, to applaud a reference to the law, while most GOP members stayed seated.
Dan Sytman, a spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said later that McKenna’s applause “was not a statement of one kind or another.”
But the move did not go unnoticed by reporters and others eager for intrigue in a mostly uneventful State of the State address.
The gesture came after Gregoire noted that Washington was “among the first in the nation to implement the Affordable Care Act” and then asked lawmakers to “embrace this historic opportunity to give every Washingtonian the health-care coverage they deserve” — a reference to the optional Medicaid expansion included in Obamacare — because “every Washingtonian deserves an open door to the doctor when they need one.”
The Legislature is currently deciding whether to accept the Medicaid expansion, which the federal government has promised to pay for in its first years but may cost the state in the future. Democrats generally support the idea while many Republicans say it may be too costly.
During an unsuccessful run for governor last year, McKenna did not say whether or not he supports the expansion.
He framed his decision to join the lawsuit brought by other attorneys general as related to a provision of the law that requires all citizens to buy health insurance. But the suit would have overturned the entire law.
At another notable moment Tuesday, McKenna sat silently with other Republicans as Democrats stood to cheer a reference from Gregoire about the state’s recent legalization of same-sex marriage.
Before Gregoire spoke, McKenna was one of three departing state officials to give farewell talks of their own.
“It has been an extraordinary journey,” McKenna said in the short speech. “Thank you all very much.”
January 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM
The first day of the state Senate’s 2013 session got off to a rocky start Monday after the opening prayer included what some saw as a reference to same-sex marriage.
As part of his invocation, Jon Sanne of Olympia’s Calvary Chapel expressed that marriage be strengthened “as You ordained it for our good and Your glory.”
Many saw that as a swipe at same-sex marriage, although Republican leader Mark Schoesler — who invited Sanne to speak — said it was not meant as a political statement.
“He prayed,” Schoesler, R-Ritzville, said in an interview on the Senate floor. “I asked him to speak, and I don’t censor prayer.”
Still, Democrats expressed disappointment.
Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, called it “polarizing language,” in a speech on the floor.
And Democratic leader Ed Murray released a statement saying it was “regrettable that we begin the 2013 session on a divisive note.”
“The loaded phrase ‘strengthen marriage as You ordained it for our good and Your glory’ is intended as negative commentary about gays and lesbians, and has no business being included in a prayer before this institution,” said Murray, D-Seattle.
Murray, who is openly gay, was an architect of the Legislature ‘s bill legalizing same-sex marriage. The bill passed last year, and voters approved it in November.
December 10, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Big weekend for gay marriage in Washington state. So, what do voters across the country think about gay marriage? A new poll reported in Politico says a plurality — not a majority – of Americans favor gay marriage. The Times’ Carol Ostrom reported Saturday about people in our state who voted against both gay marriage and marijuana legalization. The U.S. Supreme Court will take up gay marriage, two cases.
U.S. Rep. Adam Smith stays put on armed services: The News Tribune of Tacoma has an interesting piece on Adam Smith, formerly of Tacoma, who has recently moved to Bellevue. The point is Smith may have moved out of the Tacoma area and away from close proximity to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, but his interests are still with armed services. Smith is staying on as the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee in the upcoming Congress. Smith, by the by, moved closer to the center of the newly-drawn 9th Congressional District.
Booker on the move: Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker is making plans. Or thinking about a move up in politics, anyway. Booker, one of the rising stars in Democratic politics, is pondering a run next year against popular New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Wouldn’t that be a fun race? Christie, a Republican, aggravated members of his own party for the hug heard round the world during the presidential race. (You might remember Christie embraced and praised President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.)
December 6, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna opposed same-sex marriage on religious grounds during his unsuccessful bid for governor this year, but his wife, Marilyn, has a different view.
As hundreds of same-sex couples lined up to legally obtain marriage licenses for the first time Wednesday, Marilyn McKenna took to Twitter to broadcast her support for gay marriage. “Marriage is a blessing, not a political issue. We do well to remember that everyone benefits when couples commit,” she wrote.
Though he supports rights for same-sex domestic partners, Rob McKenna opposed Referendum 74, the gay marriage measure, during his campaign for governor — one point of clear contrast with his opponent, Democratic Gov.-elect Jay Inslee.
In an email to The Seattle Times, Marilyn McKenna added that while she and her husband disagree on the subject, they respect each other’s opinions. “I believe that being pro-gay marriage is completely consistent with being a Republican too. It’s a matter of personal choice that the government has no right to interfere in,” she wrote.
She added in a second email: “Both the government and the Republican Party need to get the hell out of people’s bedrooms and get a life!”
December 5, 2012 at 11:22 AM
King County officials are preparing for hundreds of same-sex couples to descend on their downtown Seattle administration building to get marriage licenses as soon as same-sex marriage becomes legal at 12:01 a.m.
The line will start forming outside the building, at 500 4th Ave., sometime before 10 p.m., when officials say they will start handing out numbered tickets to couples.
“We really expect it to be a festive atmosphere,” said Cameron Satterfield, a county spokesman. “This is marriage. It’s one of the few happy things that we get to do in government.”
More than 80 members of the media have requested credentials to cover the event, including national outlets like MSNBC.
County Executive Dow Constantine has pledged to sign the marriage licenses for the first couples, who were selected by the LGBT community. Then the rest will trickle in 10 at a time to do the roughly 10 minute licensing process.
The county Recorder’s Office will be opened for extended hours, from midnight until 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. It will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Friday.
Couples are asked to complete the form ahead of time and also bring a photo ID and $64 in cash or check.
Couples are required to wait three days after obtaining a license to actually get married. More than 140 of them have signed up to get married during a special event for same-sex couples Sunday at City Hall.
How are you celebrating the legalization of gay marriage? Share your wedding or engagement photographs and stories (from this weekend or whenever your ceremony occurred) to this special Seattle Times project.
December 3, 2012 at 5:00 AM
Support for Washington’s historic measure legalizing gay marriage was strongest in Seattle, but carried across Lake Washington throughout most of the Eastside suburbs.
A Seattle Times analysis of precinct vote totals shows intense support inside the city of Seattle – with approval of Referendum 74 reaching a high mark of 94 percent in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. In all, 82 percent of Seattle voters said yes to equal marriage rights for same-sex couples. (Click map at left to view full-size version.)
That strong endorsement wasn’t confined to Seattle — Ref. 74 also drew more than 60 percent support across Eastside cities including Bellevue, Sammamish, Woodinville and Redmond. In all, 20 King County cities had 60 percent or higher approval.
The local opposition was strongest in southeast King County, where five cities had a majority voting no — narrowly in Federal Way and Auburn, with somewhat larger opposition in Pacific, Black Diamond and Enumclaw.
Statewide, Ref. 74 won 53.7 percent to 46.3 percent, carrying ten of the state’s 39 counties.
November 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Gay marriage: Washington voters affirmed Referendum 74, thereby retaining a law that legalizes gay marriage in Washington. The county-by-county results revealed a voting pattern that might be expected. The counties approving of gay marriage were located in the western half of the state. Until now. Whitman County, home of Washington State University, edged over the line to yes on gay marriage in recent vote counts.
Vancouver, Center of the Known Universe: It was reported over the weekend that some extra votes were found in Clark County — found but not yet counted. Clark County, it should be pointed out, has a couple of the closest legislative races in the state. Control of the Legislature may hinge on that county.
GOP soul-searching. First, it was former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour ordering up, well, a “proctology exam” -– his words, not mine – for the Republicans trying to decide what the party should do after its disappointing election. Then came former Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia saying that women and minorities are afraid of the Republican Party. Now Politico reports that the GOP wants to avoid future Todd Akins.
November 16, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Good Morning. Happy Friday.
Gay marriage in Washington: Local politicians are doing their part to make sure gay weddings can occur in our state as soon as the new law allows. Passage of Referendum 74 means gay marriages will be possible in Washington in early December. King County Executive Dow Constantine said he will take the unusual step of opening the county recorder’s office early on Dec. 6, just after midnight. Eli Sanders of The Stranger says Mayor Mike McGinn will open the grand lobby of City Hall for weddings on Dec. 9, the first day same-sex couples can get married.
Guess what Tim Burgess’ big announcement might be: Publicola says Seattle City Councilmember Tim Burgess is planning a big post-Thanksgiving announcement. The big surprise is there is no surprise: he is planning to run for mayor in 2013. More candidates, more announcements. Game on.
From Brian M. Rosenthal: With votes now counted from more than three million voters (about 96 percent of expected turnout), Democrat Jay Inslee has increased his lead in the governor’s race to 73,002 votes (he was up by about 50,000 on election night). That margin is less than Gov. Chris Gregoire’s 194,614 vote win in 2008, but it is not the razor-thin result that many expected. Republican Rob McKenna conceded to Inslee last week. Gregoire beat Republican Dino Rossi in 2004 by a final tally of 133 votes.
Inaugural ball: If you are still pining for Washington’s inaugural ball to continue at the state Capitol this year, it’s not going to happen. Think Lacey.
November 9, 2012 at 6:00 AM
Friday briefing: impressive youth vote, gay marriage pertinent dates, Hillary 2016, women of the Senate
Good Morning. Happy Friday.
So much hand wringing about the youth vote: To all those who grumbled — guilty as charged — that younger voters were not as fired up this election season as they might have been in 2008, pshaw to all of that. Younger voters, those roughly 18-29, turned out in the same numbers as they did four years ago and a pinch more. Read it and smile.
Opponents of gay marriage conceded the point Thursday. You maybe knew that. So when can gay couples marry in Washington? Here are some dates and answers, in an email from King County, in case you know some people making plans.
“The King County Recorder’s Office is making plans for the first day of marriage equality in Washington State. If Referendum 74 is certified as passed by the voters, the first day that marriage licenses can be issued to same-sex couples will be Thursday, Dec. 6. The first day that licenses could be used is three days later, Sunday, Dec. 9.
The Recorder’s Office will open for extended hours on Thursday, Dec. 6, as well as Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8. We are still firming up details of the plan for those first three days, including hours of operation. We will NOT be open on Sunday, Dec. 9, and we will NOT be able to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until Dec. 6.”
Election 2012 is barely in the rear view mirror and here it comes. Politico reports the first poll is in for the presidential race in 2016 — who can take it? — and Hillary Rodham Clinton is ahead in Iowa.
Join us today at noon for a live chat to talk about what happens next now that Initiative 502 has been approved by the voters. Send questions about the state’s new marijuana rules in advance for Alison Holcomb, campaign guru of I-502, to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Women of the U.S. Senate: The recent election was very good for women becoming U.S. senators. The old number of women in that clubby club was 17. The 2012 election boosts it to 20.
November 6, 2012 at 11:15 PM
Only about a half-dozen people are left at the Election Night party for Reject R-74, the same-sex marriage measure. The mood had steadily grown quieter and more subdued as the night wore on, and it became apparent that the reject side was not going to take the lead for the night.
The signs and banners have been taken down and the food put away.
“I’m a little bit surprised” by the vote, said Judy Fenton of Seattle, who had volunteered for the Reject R-74 campaign, making phone calls, waving signs and distributing literature. “I guess I was hoping that people would think more independently of the commercials they’ve seen (in support of same-sex marriage), because there’ve been a lot.
“I do feel like it’s going to be a monumental shift in our culture,” Fenton added.
Chris Plante, deputy campaign manager for the Reject R-74 campaign, said, “We’re not conceding anything.” But Plante acknowledged that “realistically, something’s going to have to change in our favor. … We’ll have to see how things go.”
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