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June 29, 2011 at 2:38 PM

McGinn offers support on gay marriage

Posted by Lynn Thompson

Updated at 5:45 p.m. to include comments from Mayor McGinn:

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn phoned state Sen.Ed Murray earlier this week to offer his support on legalizing gay marriage in the state.

McGinn, who took part in the Pride Parade on Sunday wearing an "I (Heart) New York" T-shirt, said an interview Wednesday that marriage is a powerful institution and "gays and lesbians should be able to share in that."

In a phone call from Chicago, where McGinn is attending the Clinton Global Initiative conference, McGinn said he also thought it was important for him to tell Murray that as the leader of the city, he supports gay marriage.

"It was a very gracious call and I appreciated his support," Murray said Wednesday. "Everything we can do around this effort and to keep Seattle united is important."

The New York Legislature passed a gay-marriage statute last week after considerable strategizing and arm-twisting from Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Murray pointed out that Washington is an initiative state and any law passed by the Legislatiure could be challenged by initiative and subject to a vote of the people.

Currently, he said, supporters of gay marriage don't have the votes in the Washington Legislature to legalize gay marriage.

The State Supreme Court in 2006 upheld Washington's Defense of Marriage Act that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

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