2012 February 28
By Alisha Patel, Legislative Research Intern, University of Texas-Austin Office
The Washington legislature has just passed a bill (SB 6239) that authorizes same-sex marriage. The bill, which was recently signed into law by Governor Chris Gregoire, makes Washington the seventh state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage. For the most part, Senators and Representatives voted along party lines, however in the Senate there were four Republicans voting for the bill and three Democrats opposing it. In the House, two Republicans voted for the bill and three Democrats crossed the aisle to vote against it. Regardless, the votes were very narrow: the bill passed 28-21 in the Senate and 55-43 in the House.
Although the bill authorizes marriage for same-sex couples, it specifies restrictions on where and by whom they can marry. Under the provision, licensed religious officials can choose not to provide religious-based marriage services for same-sex couples, and religious organizations are not obligated to provide facilities. It defines marriage as a civil contract between two persons who are aged 18 years or older.
Democratic Senator Brian Hatfield, who voted for the bill, nevertheless had reservations about taking a stand on the issue. He stated, “Regardless of how I choose to vote on the issue of marriage equality, I will alienate myself from friends and neighbors that I have known for years. A vote in favor of marriage equality will enrage those who see it as a stone cast against God and the beliefs that I and thousands like me have been ...
2012 February 14
Following the resignation of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Arizona was faced with a unique situation in holding elections to replace the former Congresswoman.
2012 February 13
No matter your experience-level or political preference, our researchers are here to answer even your most basic questions on U.S. candidates, officials, issues, and voting.
2012 January 31
It's time for every thinking American to saddle up and fight for that most precious component in our struggle to self govern, our right to know.
2012 January 20
The South Carolina Republican Presidential Preference Primary is scheduled for Saturday, January, 21st and while in most of our minds there are only four candidates still vying for the GOP nomination, one look at the ballot will tell a slightly different story.
2012 January 11
It was unclear what might be done to ensure that citizens had at least one independent source to easily acquire accurate information, but what we eventually decided upon remains the heart of Project Vote Smart today.
2012 January 09
We released the 2012 Political Courage Test results today for Oregon's special election showing neither major party congressional candidate running for the state's 1st Congressional District seat was willing to answer even the most basic issue-related questions addressed inside the Test.
2012 January 05
As expected, the Iowa Caucus, the first nominating contest of the 2012 election season, proved to shake things up inside the GOP race.
2011 December 15
Give a gift membership to Vote Smart and help us keep our politicians honest – can a sweater do that?