Citing the Golden Rule and saying that "all men and women in our state [should] enjoy the same privileges that are so important in my life," the last legislator needed to pass same-sex marriage legislation in Washington State announced this afternoon that she will support the measure.
Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, a Democrat, posted a statement about her decision here.
Her support gives proponents "the 25 votes needed for passage" in the state's Democratic-controlled Senate, according to The Seattle Times. There already was enough support in the state House (also Democratic controlled) and Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) has said she would sign such legislation.
In her statement, Haugen also says:
"Not everyone will agree with my position. I understand and respect that. I also trust that people will remember that we need to respect each other's beliefs. All of us enjoy the benefits of being Americans, but none of us holds a monopoly on what it means to be an American. Ours is truly a big tent, and while the tent may grow and shrink according to the political winds of the day, it should never shrink when it comes to our rights as individuals."
As The Associated Press notes, "Washington would join New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia in legalizing gay marriage."