Washington state Republicans push back on marriage equality

Republic lawmakers in Washington state were quick to challenge Gov. Chris Gregoire’s recent push to pass gay marriage, saying it would create an unnecessary distraction.

The Seattle Times reports that Senate Republic Leader Mike Hewitt said the issue would cause problems because Ed Murray, a gay state senator and also the state’s Democratic budget negotiator, was “vested in this personally.”

Gregoire disputed claims that the state wouldn’t have time to address gay marriage during the upcoming legislative session, which begins Monday.

“To those who say we don’t have the time, what will history say when we say, ‘Sorry, we had a budget to pass, so we continued to discriminate.’ That answer does not work,” Gregoire said after a panel on the issue. “This is our test. This is what leadership is about. Now is our time.”