Two men celebrate 25 years together by traveling the country to get married in every state where they can, in this award-winning documentary narrated by George Takei. "Equal parts love story and political protest" -TIME

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

M&C Blog: Equality & Faith in the State of Washington

Six months after Pat & Stephen’s New York wedding, Washington became the next state to legalize same-sex marriage. The law was scheduled to take effect today, however opponents successfully petitioned to block it. Marriage equality instead will be subject to a public referendum in November.

Rep. Drew Hansen, a freshman Democrat from the 23rd Legislative District voted for the bill. 

Not long after the February vote, Rep. Hansen took a few moments to speak with the director of Married and Counting.

As a new member of the House who’s running for reelection in the fall, how politically risky was your vote?

Our district is very divided, just like the rest of the country. We had a couple town hall meetings a few weeks ago with a lot of people upset about this vote. There is a not insignificant number of people in our district who disagree very strongly with this vote. What that will mean at election time, I couldn’t tell you.

Those who oppose same-sex marriage typically do so on religious grounds, but you said your faith helped lead you to vote for the bill. What did this vote mean for you as a Christian?

The church is very divided on this question. It has divided denominations. It has divided individual congregations, and it is not the case that all Christians think alike on this.

One of my son’s Sunday school teachers from our church came up to my wife on Sunday and said she totally agreed with what I said on the floor, that it was the first time someone articulated what she as a Christian felt about marriage equality.

There are a lot of Christians who think that same-sex couples who make the same vow of fidelity, commitment, and permanence are no less entitled to the sacramental nature of marriage than a straight couple. 

There's an effort underway to overturn the law before it goes into effect. Do you see that happening?

It's too soon to tell. It looks like the opponents of the new law will gather enough signatures to put it on the ballot, so I hope we'll have a respectful, civil debate in public on this issue through November, just like the respectful, civil debate we had in the House. 

As more states come onto the marriage equality map, Stephen and Pat are going to continue traveling to get married in them. If the law is allowed to stand, will you come to their Washington wedding?

I’d love to. That would be really fun. 

UPDATE: Since this interview, at least one promised major donor has withdrawn his support from Rep. Hansen's reelection campaign because of his marriage equality vote. You can find out more about Rep. Hansen and his campaign at