The Agenda

A big day for marriage equality

It’s another day of progress on the marriage front, as the New Jersey Senate passes a marriage equality bill, Gov. Christine Gregoire signs Washington’s marriage bill into law and Freedom to Marry launches a grassroots campaign to add marriage equality to the Democratic Party’s 2012 platform language.

A bill upgrading New Jersey’s civil unions law to full marriage equality passed on a 24-16 bipartisan vote in the State Senate, and a similar vote in the State House is set for Thursday.  Gov. Chris Christie has promised to veto the measure when it reaches his desk, but proponents have until January 2014 to try to override his veto.

Marriage equality is now the law of the land in Washington, as Gov. Gregoire (pictured), flanked by openly gay and lesbian state lawmakers and their partners, today signed legislation and predicted the state’s voters would uphold the new law if opponents force the question onto a statewide ballot.  “Washington will say yes because a family is a family,” said Gregoire.  “It is time to give our loving gay and lesbian couples a chance to have a married life in the state of Washington.”

Freedom to Marry, a national advocacy group, today began collecting signatures on a petition it hopes will influence the Democratic Party to embrace full marriage rights for same-sex couples as it develops its 2012 platform language.  “It is now time that the national Democratic Party formally recognize the freedom to marry as a core value by including it in its party platform to be ratified in September at the Democratic National Convention,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director at Freedom to Marry.