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Congratulations to Washington State Senators Regala and Ranker
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 02/03/12
Last updated on: 02/03/12
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Senators Regala (left) and Ranker.

On the evening of February 1, 2012, the Washington state Senate voted in favor of equal marriage rights. The bill passed by a 28-21 margin, with four Republicans joining 24 Democrats in the majority, and three Democrats joining 18 Republicans in the minority. The most memorable speeches during the debate were by Democratic Senators Regala and Ranker.

The bill is expected to be passed by a large majority in the House, and Washington Governor Christine Gregoire, who initiated the bill, will happily sign it into law. The law will almost certainly be subjected to a public referendum in November.

The debate in the Senate was mainly subdued, though the expected canards about religious liberty were raised and amendments were voted down.

But two speeches were particularly noteworthy.

Senator Debbie Regala spoke about how marriage has changed over the years and mentioned that she married "one year after the ban on interracial marriage was struck down by the Supreme Court." Senator Regala said that she was very glad the definition of marriage changed.

Senator Kevin Ranker revealed that he is the son of a gay man and that he knew first-hand the discrimination--the "shame and silence"--his father faced as a result of his sexual orientation. Ranker reminded his colleagues that "separate can never be equal."

Thanks to Stuart Wilbur at The New Civil Rights Movement for calling attention to the speeches, which may be seen in the video below.

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