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Saturday, January 28, 2006

Gay is OK in Washington Today

As of Friday, the State of Washington has a gay rights law. But, it apparently doesn't permit marriage.

First introduced in the 1970s, the measure adds "sexual orientation" to a state law that bans discrimination in housing, employment and insurance, making Washington the 17th state passing a law covering gays and lesbians. It is the seventh to protect transgender people.

Sen. Bill Finkbeiner was the only Senate Republican to endorse the measure. Two Democrats voted against it.

"We don't choose who we love. The heart chooses who we will love," Finkbeiner said. "I don't believe that it is right for us to say ... that it's acceptable to discriminate against people because of that."

The bill was amended by Republicans on the House floor to say that it would not modify or change state marriage laws. A Senate amendment added a caveat saying the state does not endorse "any specific belief, practice, behavior, or orientation."

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