Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Earlier this week, the Washington State Senate passed Senate Bill 6239, a measure that would re-define marriage in our state and legalize same-sex marriages. The vote was 28-21. You can read the bill and its progression through the Legislature here.
Where I stand
I think most of you know where I stand on the issue of same-sex marriage. I believe marriage should be between one man and one woman. Here's what I said about the issue in the Monroe Monitor:
Kristiansen, who says he has lots of gay friends, said he won't support the bill. “I'm a strong advocate for traditional marriage,” he said. “I've voted no on this every year it's come up.”
He said he sees the bill, which has versions in both the House and the Senate, as an intentional distraction from more important budget issues.
“I think that it's a distraction from what our problems are down here,” he said. “The thing I found disturbing, the governor made that the number one issue as she was leaving. For seven years she was a no vote. Not only has she changed her mind, that's the one issue that's she's changed on. What about the rest of the population, who would appreciate you running point on putting people back to work?”
House hearing scheduled
Senate Bill 6239 has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration. The chairman of that committee is the sponsor of the House legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage, so he supports the bill.
A public hearing has been scheduled for Monday, Feb. 6. The committee will convene at 8 a.m., House Hearing Room A in the John L. O'Brien Building on the Capitol campus. Here is the agenda for that meeting.
This will likely be the last opportunity for the public to comment on the same-sex marriage bill before it is sent to the House for a vote. I strongly encourage you to attend.
Information to help facilitate your visit
Here are some links to help if you plan to come to the Legislature:
A referendum clause?
I believe this is an important enough issue that citizens should have the ability to vote on it. Many of my colleagues in the Senate felt the same way. That's why they tried to attach a “referendum clause” to the bill so that it would be referred to voters in November. Unfortunately, the amendment failed to receive enough votes to pass.
It's expected the bill has the support to pass from the House Judiciary Committee and will likely be on the House floor for a vote several days afterward. It's my hope that if enough people turn out for the hearing on Monday and voice their support for this to go to the ballot, a referendum clause could be successfully attached in the House.
Please let me know if you have questions on this or other issues in the Legislature.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me to serve and represent you.
In your service,