Last year, the big news on gay marriage was in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo took the lead, and secured passage with the co-operation of three Republican senators. In 2012, that could have an echo in Washington, where Governor Christine Gregoire has given her backing to legislation - and a Republican senator has already announced his support, which could prove crucial, in what could be a close vote in the Senate. Like an increasing number of conservatives, Sen Steve Litzow is supporting marriage equality as a conservative cause, in the name of individual freedom and personal responsibility:
"SOMETIMES it takes just one individual to stand on principle and let others follow. State Sen. Steve Litzow announced he will be the first Republican in the Senate to support gay marriage.
Outstanding. Litzow is a profile in courage, a freshman lawmaker willing to act on conviction.
Litzow of Mercer Island told The Times editorial board he plans to support this historic legislation. His announcement follows last week's decision by Gov. Chris Gregoire to introduce and push a law that affords gay and lesbian couples the same rights and benefits of marriage enjoyed by other couples.
If the legislation is approved — and it should be — Washington would become the seventh state in the country to act on this compelling civil-rights issue.
"I am a traditional Republican," explained Litzow. "When you think about gay marriage, it's the right thing to do and it's very consistent with the tenets of being a Republican — such as individual freedom and personal responsibility."