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Ranker backs Governor on gay marriage legislation

Gov. Chris Gregoire announced this month that she will introduce legislation that if passed, would allow same-sex marriages in Washington state.

State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, released a statement following Gov. Gregoire’s press conference in support of the proposed legislation.

“Marriage is more than just a collection of rights and protections – it is the commitment between two people who love each other and have pledged to support one another in life. Love for our partners and for our family gives life meaning, provides us comfort, and shapes our identity,” Ranker said. “By continuing to differentiate between types of loving relationships, we separate and isolate those within our communities. We must recognize that separate can never be equal and a domestic partnership can never be a marriage.”

Ranker, who grew up with a gay father, said he was taught as a youth that family is not determined by gender, but rather by love and commitment.

If legislation is approved, Washington would be the seventh state in the nation to legalize gay marriage, after Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York plus the District of Columbia.

“For decades our country has struggled with discrimination in many forms. While it takes time, education and sacrifice to conquer injustices, those on the side of promoting tolerance and equality have always prevailed,” said Ranker, echoing Gov. Gregoire’s message on Jan. 4. “This year, we have a chance to do something wonderful for thousands of Washingtonians.  This year we have the opportunity to stand up for equality for all.”

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