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Washington State Senate Politely and with Great Civility... Approves Marriage Equality

I don't know what you guys have in the water up there in Washington State... but it appears it works wonders for you.  Perhaps it is the great abundance of that water that also helps.  I am not sure.

But one thing I AM sure of... is how wonderfully CIVIL your Washington State Senate conducts the "People's Business."

Ok... so I don't have much of a life, here.  As many of you know, I pretty much live in a cave.  Don't come out much.  But at least I have internet access.  Whew !

But... for an hour and a half tonight... I watched the Final Debate and Roll Call of the Washington State Senate on the issue of Marriage Equality.

Above is a picture of the State Senate doing their Roll Call vote on the Issue.  There are forty-nine State Senators... and before their final vote... each of them was given three minutes to comment as they saw fit concerning the State Senate Bill Number 6239... the Marriage Equality Bill.

What happened during that parade of "three minute comments" was something that has been severely lacking in the United States Senate, and also in the United States House of Representatives.  Civility !  Professionalism !  Respect !  And not only respect for each other... but respect for the views of each of those "others."

Honestly and truly... I was very impressed.

Each State Senator spoke their views.  Occasionally each mentioned that other Senators in their Senate were their very good friends... but recognized that those same "very good friends" had very different viewpoints on the issue of Marriage Equality.

Civility.  No rocks being thrown.  No threats.  No invoking the promise of thunderbolts from Zeus, or excommunication by the Pope.  Just genuine, civil, well-mannered disagreement... when that was the case.

Finally... after all Senators had the opportunity to make their comments, thank their allies in the Senate, and compliment those who disagreed with their viewpoints... for doing so with great decorum... a final vote was taken.

The bill... Senate Bill 6239... was approved by a margin of 28 Yays to 21 Nays.  It was then approved by voice vote with none dissenting... to be sent straight to the other branch of the Washington State government... the House... for an immediate vote.  And all in the Senate knew that it would be immediately approved by the House.

The Governor of Washington State... Governor Gregoire... has said that she would sign it immediately.

My faithful partner Ms Mollie T Cat wanted all of you to know that she was equally interested in the drama that enfolded before us in the Washington State Senate.  She is shown here... concentrating on the wonders of the Democratic Process as it happened this evening in Washington.

What are my views on the subject of Marriage Equality ?  Although what I believe is not the subject of this post... I do believe that same sex couples should have the opportunity to be as miserable in their marriage... and equally so... as heterosexual couples do in their marriage.  And... if they end up happy... so much the better.

But again... that is not the point of this.

My point is... what in the world is wrong with all of those crazy people we see in the Congress in Washington, DC... mainly in the House of Representatives, but also in the Senate... who continue to be AT WAR ?

Obstructionists seem to rule.  Nothing even gets brought up for a vote.  The entire Congress is either set in quicksand or cement.  Nothing... moves.  We appear to be faced with another nine months of obstructionism... without the possibility of any sort of bipartisan compromise, or even civil communication. 

Why can't the Congress of the United States... the Senate and the House of Representatives... be as professional as those lawmakers in the Washington State Senate ?

Thank You Washington State Senate.  You should be held up as a model for all.


Update:
Today is Wednesday, February 8, 2012. 

The Washington State House has also just voted on the Marriage Equality bill, and has also approved it, this time by a vote of 55-43. 

The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Christine Gregoire, who has promised to sign it.


Comment balloon 32 commentsKaren Anne Stone • February 06 2012 11:02PM

Comments

Karen Anne --  I was not aware of this vote in Washington state and although the issue at hand is important, the bigger issue as you write is civility.   It goes beyond Congress.  I think as Americans we can agree that everyone has a right to their views but civility, respect and common courtesy should also be a part of our lives.  

The image I kept seeing while reading your post was that of Arizona Governor Jan Brewer on the tarmac with President Obama.  Shaking her finger... was it just an unfortunate moment?  As far as I know - only the two of them know for sure(and one or more from the Secret Service).  How about discussion with disagreement without finger pointing?  If only....

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena Area Real Estate 818.516.4393 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

Hi Karen Anne,

I couldn't agree more.  I love our democracy and believe in civil debate, majority rule and the civil transition of power.  Our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves at the vile antics in Washington DC.

Lisa

Posted by The Scott Loper Team Bux-Mont Premier Properties (Keller Williams Real Estate - Montgomeryville) over 5 years ago

Karen Anne, the quiet, sincere voices do exist but it is so hard to hear them over the bullies.  Finger pointing and name calling shouldn't be tolerated on playgrounds let alone the halls of our government entities.

Posted by Mona Gersky, GRI,IMSD-Taking the mystery out of real estate. (MoonDancer Realty, Dillsboro,NC) over 5 years ago

Karen Anne- civility is the word of the year, isn't it?  I wonder if we'll ever get back to such a civil state.  Thanks for the good information.. I had no idea WA was voting on this recently.

Posted by David Artigliere, ARTI Home Inspections, ASHI Certified Home Inspect (Reading, Pottstown, Norristown, Philadelphia) over 5 years ago

Karen-Anne I was all smiles when I woke up this morning and read the healines in the paper---proud to be a Washingtonian for sure.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 5 years ago

Karen Anne... you raise a very good point, indeed.  Without civility, people become 'mean'.  I also applaud the passage of the Marriage Equality act in WA... thanks for keeping us informed!

Posted by Peggy Hughes/pha logistix, inc., SF NYC LA (pha logistix inc) over 5 years ago

Karen Anne,  Having lived in Seattle for over a decade until 1997, I can tell you that politics have always been pretty gracious in that beautiful state.  And, they are always been ahead of their time.  The State of WA passed a bill in the early 90's that guaranteed medical coverage for all city/state employees domestic partners...without regard to sex.  Loved living there.

Posted by Deborah "Dee Dee" Garvin, C2 Financial (C2 Financial) over 5 years ago

Hi Karen Anne--I read something recently that said the majority of voters would like to throw all the Senators and Congressmen out of office and start over with another group.  I think many people feel the same way you do and are really tired of it all. 

Posted by Janet Jones, Home Staging, Interior Redesign Kihei, Maui, Hawaii (Just Your Style Interiors, LLC) over 5 years ago

Janet:  Honestly, what I often read when I see stories like you quote... people want to throw out all of the Senators and Congressmen... except theirs, whom they think is doing a decent job.

But really... it isn't anywhere near a majority of them.  Doing that, to me, is like going into a hospital and throwing out all the surgeons, and getting brand new ones, or going to an airline, and throwing out all the pilots, and getting brand new ones just out of flight school.

Finding out just exactly what the problem is... would be like finding out which of your four tires is flat, and replacing that one... not throwing out all four tires and the spare, and buying five new ones.  Gosh... I am almost sounding logical here.  Wow... I hope nobody finds out.  <impish smile>

By the way... nice to see you here... and thanks so much for subscribing.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Michael:  I watched the vote while it was happening, so I was a tad ahead of the curve.  Today (Thursday) it hit all the news sites, and is more widely known.

What is going on in Congress now, in both houses, would be like if a buyer's agent submitted a low-ball offer to a seller and their listing agent, and then both buyer and seller totally refused to give an inch.  And, the longer it went on, the nastier it got.

What happened to the spirit of compromise ?

That "happening" with Gov Jan Brewer on the tarmac with President Obama... was simply ridiculous.  But, then again... she does not have much of a clue about anything... so it kinda fits her.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Lisa:  In many things I DO believe in "majority rule..." but in some things I do not.  If the majority vote along the lines of something that is wrong, just really wrong, then to me it does not matter how much of a majority the issue has.  But, that is where the courts come in.

If a majority-voted law is in violation of the Constitution, for example, in violation of the notion of liberty and justice for ALL... then the courts should by all means overturn that vote.

But... it does not have to be done in a vile manner.  There is nothing wrong with most forms of compromise.  But when you have certain groups acting like a bunch of spoiled bratty kids... insisting that it is their way or the highway... it simply cannot continue.

This past year in the Congress, especially in the House of Representatives, has been like nothing that I can remember... and I have been voting since 1966.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Mona:  the quiet and sincere voices were heard last night in the Washington State Senate.  It really was something to watch.  It was straight out of forty years ago, although many in Washington State say that last night... was simply how they do things in Washington State.  How wonderful.

It is true.  There are bullies everywhere.  And many schools have policies that favor the bullies, not those being bullied.  So, when these bullies become full-grown... their behaviour should not be all that surprising.  Horrifying yes, surprising, unfortunately not.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

David:  It was a beautiful thing to watch.  Both sides "gave."  Neither side got everything they wanted.  It was "civil."  It made sense.  And yes... Washington state has been on the leading edge in many ways... of being in favor of equality for all.  It just came in gradations. 

I only know Washington State folks through Active Rain... and I know several of them must be absolutely thrilled.  I live in what I jokingly refer to as "The People's Republic of Texas..." and on many, many occasions... I am embarrassed by what our esteemed Governor Perry has done with this state.  Embarrassed and ashamed.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Charles:  I like the new picture.  Makes you look more like the "sage" you are.  <smile>

And, you should be proud to be a Washingtonian... most definitely.  Unfortunately I will never, ever have that privilege here in Texas.  The state house is run more like a cattle drive than like anything else.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Peggy:  There is very little civility.  Why not ?  One reason is because there is no outcry from the public over the antics of the obstructionists.  But... like what has already happened in several states... those who have ramrodded their unfair and one-sided laws through have over-reached... and the people are angry.  Very angry.

We will see what happens in November.  Keep the good ones... the ones who serve ALL the people.  Send the rest... home.  Marriage Equality is slowly but surely becoming what is should be.  Equal means equal.  And, you are very welcome.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Dee Dee:  If it didn't rain so much in the Greater Seattle area... I might be living there.  I tried for five weeks in a small city west of Portland... and the dampness rushed right into my lungs and had me heading for double pneumonia again.  So, after going to the emergency room... it was recommended that I recover... and move back to Fort Worth... which is where I had just attempted to move from.  Duh.

I think I would have just loved the "accepting atmosphere" which appears to be the way most Washingtonians prefer to live.  Equal means equal.

In a way, I am wondering if the fact that your Governor Gregoire is not running for re-election "freed her up" to do what she felt was right and just... rather than to have been concerned about getting re-elected.  Whew !  Bless her heart.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Good Evening Karen:

Once in a while these our elected officials seem to come to their senses.  I yearn for the day when the US Congress comes to its senses.  This is a day when it is no longer defiled by the money of the powerful. I wholeheartedly agree with you... Thank You Washington State Senate.  You should be held up as a model for all.i

Thanks for an Excellent post

Posted by C. Lloyd McKenzie, Living Albuquerque over 5 years ago

Ah, Karen Anne - I believe it's our good, clear water coming down from Canada that helped!  After all, we've had legal same sex marriages since 2003...I'm just saying....  :-)

Posted by Karen Hawkins, MBA - Langley & Surrey, BC (Royal Pro Real Estate Network) over 5 years ago

I love your observation and agree that we, as adults, should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.  How refreshing that you found public leaders doing just that.

Posted by Mark Delgado, Benicia and Vallejo, Property Management, rental h (houses for rent, Solano County & Glen Cove) over 5 years ago

Couldn't agree more.  The majority rule thing was meant for our legislative bodies.  The majority public would have never approved the civil rights act or bi-racial marriage.  The majority used to punish children who wrote left handed calling it "the devils paw".  The majority may be more "the norm" but in no way are they the only ones that are "normal"

Posted by Leslie G. Rojohn, GRI, ABR ~ MoonDancer Realty (MoonDancer Realty) over 5 years ago

What a novel concept, play in the sandbox amicably. I too feel that everyone should have equal rights to marry, divorce, live in sin, have children and whatever

Posted by Sun City Grand Homes Surprise AZ Real Estate Leolinda Bowers Designated Broker Leolinda Realty, Sun City Grand in Surprise Arizona (Leolinda Realty) over 5 years ago

Karen, thank you for this exceptional post about how our democracy can work if the elected officials are their for public service rather than a paid political agenda. One of the best things about our range of communication technologies online is that people can now SEE not only what is going on but also what is possible. If Washington State can do it, why can't Congress? (I'm with #17, #20 and #21).

Posted by Emily Medvec, Realtor | Serving Santa Fe & Northern NM (Realty One of Santa Fe) over 5 years ago

Karen, perhaps we should look to Washington STATE to replace Washington DC?  I'm actually a little embarrassed when I meet clients from other country's and am asked to explain what I think of our politics or what goes on in DC.

Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, Huntsville AL) over 5 years ago

Nick, actually... since all the Tea Party Newbies... who are mainly who the obstructionists are... were elected in 2010... the main thing they remind me of is from tens and tens of years ago when Nikita Kruschev was at the United Nations... and took off his shoes... which looked more like floppy boots, and started banging them on the desk top in front of him.

If you asked the majority of them about "Robert's Rules of Order"... they would have no clue what you were talking about.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

Here's the point. The ain't gay marriage thing is a mainly religiously specific argument AND... 

FIRST AMENDMENT

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

 
Posted by Laura Cerrano, Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher (Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island) over 5 years ago

Great point on civility Karen Anne. We need that more EVERYWHERE in my opinion. Washingto D.C. completely out of control in that venue.

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 5 years ago

Hi, Karen Anne

Our Chamber of Commerce just had a meeting today with our Congressman.  One of the things we discussed is the lack of manners and civility in Washington.  Your post is perfect timing to me.  Thanks!

Posted by Christine Hooks, Celebrating 24 Years in Real Estate! (Pino Agency) over 5 years ago

I have always felt that the British Parliament is like a muppet show with the audible groans and grumbles. Civility needs to be used more often. As for the subject of the vote, MD is hopefully next.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 5 years ago

I am SO proud to be a Washingtonian.  I feel SO lucky for these movements to be happening in my state.  Equality for all!  We are ready!

Posted by Kerrie La Guardia, Let it Rain! (ActiveRain, Community Manager) over 5 years ago

Kerrie:  There are so many people that say that "extending" marriage rights to same-sex couples is giving them "special" rights.  What a bunch of hooie !  Equal Rights means just that.  Equal.  It sounds pretty simple to me.

It is not an extension, or an addition... it is simply recognizing what was already there.  Equal... means... equal.

Ellie:  I really think that Maryland WILL be next.  Your Governor O'Malley and his wife are both, as far as I remember, very much in favor of Marriage Equality.  I just love the state of Maryland, as you know, and will be thrilled once this "equal right" becomes law.  Please write a post all about it.  I will have to check out the Baltimore Sun website to update myself.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

UPDATE:  Today is Wednesday, February 8, 2012. 

The Washington State House has now voted on the Marriage Equality bill, and has also approved it, and has done so by a vote of 55-43.  The bill now goes to the desk of Governor Christine Gregoire, who has promised to sign it.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 5 years ago

I have the opportunity to comment on 20 posts so I am working through 20 of yours. YOU SO DESERVE to be a millionaire. 

Posted by Joni Bailey, Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR® (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services - Anderson Properties) over 2 years ago

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