It appears that there are enough votes to pass a law allowing full marriage equality for gay couples in the state of Washington after Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen announced that she would vote for the bill, providing the margin necessary for passage. AP reports:
As lawmakers held their first public hearing on legalizing same-sex marriage, a previously undecided Democratic senator on Monday announced her support for the measure, all but ensuring that Washington will become the seventh state to allow gay and lesbian couples to get married.
The announcement by Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, that she would cast the 25th and deciding vote in favor of the issue came as hundreds of people filled the Capitol to advocate for and against gay marriage.
One bit of her announcement stood out to me:
“To some degree, this is generational. Years ago I took exception to my parents’ beliefs on certain social issues, and today my children take exception to some of mine. Times change, even if it makes us uncomfortable. I think we should all be uncomfortable sometime. None of us knows everything, and it’s important to have our beliefs questioned. Only one being in this world is omniscient, and it’s not me.
“I have very strong Christian beliefs, and personally I have always said when I accepted the Lord, I became more tolerant of others. I stopped judging people and try to live by the Golden Rule. This is part of my decision. I do not believe it is my role to judge others, regardless of my personal beliefs. It’s not always easy to do that. For me personally, I have always believed in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. That is what I believe, to this day.
“But this issue isn’t about just what I believe. It’s about respecting others, including people who may believe differently than I. It’s about whether everyone has the same opportunities for love and companionship and family and security that I have enjoyed.”