BY ROB SALERNO – The Washington State House of Representatives voted 55-43 to pass marriage equality. The vote comes a week after the state senate voted to pass marriage equality, meaning the law now passes to Governor Chris Gregoire for her signature. Since she introduced the bill a month ago, it's pretty much a done deal.
Washington will bring the total number of US states that allow gay marriage to seven, including New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Iowa. Washington, DC, also allows gay marriage. Earlier this week, the federal court of appeal struck down Proposition 8, which undid marriage equality in California — but the decision is currently stayed pending further appeals. It will likely continue on to the Supreme Court.
Anyway, sorry to be a party pooper, but none of these marriages really count in the US, because the federal Defense of Marriage Act bans the federal government from recognizing gay marriages for tax, benefits or immigration purposes.
Still, now gay sex-advice columnist Dan Savage, who got married in Vancouver and was a big part of kicking up the international fuss when our Department of Justice tried to argue that gay marriages between non-Canadians aren't valid unless they're valid where they live, too, can finally get married in his home state.