In the Senate today, a bill granting same-sex couples the right to marry was heard, including two hours of public testimony. Shortly after the meeting, Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen announced she supports the bill, giving it 25 supporters -- the majority needed to pass.
"I know this announcement makes me the so-called 25th vote, the vote that ensures passage," said Haugen. "That’s neither here nor there. If I were the first or the seventh or the 28th vote, my position would not be any different. I happen to be the 25th because I insisted on taking this much time to hear from my constituents and to sort it out for myself, to reconcile my religious beliefs with my beliefs as an American, as a legislator, and as a wife and mother who cannot deny to others the joys and benefits I enjoy.
"This is the right vote and it is the vote I will cast when this measure comes to the floor."
You can read her full statement here.
Sen. Ed Murray, prime sponsor of the bill, thanked Sen. Haugen for her support, and remarked:
"This is an incredible moment in a struggle that has gone on every one of the 17 years I have been in the Legislature, a struggle that includes decades of work by men and women across our state who have called for equality for gay and lesbian families.”
You can read his full statement here.
And for a round-up of events related to the marriage equality bills in both the House and Senate, see here.