Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire (D) has been lauded for her announcement yesterday supporting full marriage equality, but her opponents have fired off numerous red herrings and objections to her change of heart. Sen. Dan Swecker (R) led the spin, suggesting that Gregoire’s support will interfere with budget negotiations and it’s “bad timing and a bad idea”:
SWECKER: It will be a very divisive issue. She’s just kind of fanning the flames… It will be very much a part of the mix.
Attorney General Rob McKenna, the leading Republican vying to fill Gregoire’s position after her term is over, opposes same-sex marriage and thinks the right should be offered up to a popular vote:
“He does not support gay marriage as a matter of faith,” campaign spokesman Randy Pepples said. McKenna has not seen a draft of the bill Gregoire will back, but thinks if the law does change, it should go before the voters, not be handled solely by the Legislature.
Longtime gay rights opponent Ken Hutcherson, pastor of the Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, WA, declared his intent to fight equality “like it’s the last thing I can do,” fear mongering untold consequences:
HUTCHERSON: It’s going to infringe upon my freedom of religion. Every place this has become the law of the land, you are muzzled about what you can say about the issue of homosexuality… This is the year they think they have to do it in this state or they’re not going to get it. Just as hard as they’re fighting to get it, I’m going to fight for them not to get it because it’s going to have repercussions in this state and in the U.S. that you and I are going to regret over the years.
Not to be left out, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown — absurdly boasting his organization has 800,000 members — committed to lobbying against the effort:
BROWN: The people of this country believe that marriage is a union of a man and a woman. I expect the legislature in Washington state will stand up for this commitment and vote to protect marriage.
Except, of course, that Brown couldn’t be more wrong about what the people of this country believe. A majority of U.S. voters consistently support marriage equality, and more importantly, 55 percent of Washington state voters would uphold a Legislature-approved same-sex marriage law.
Larger anti-equality organizations like the Family Research Council and the American Family Association have yet to react to Gregoire’s announcement. Perhaps they simply do not wish to draw more attention to her impassioned conversion to equality proponent.