This week, perennially vague Washington Governor Christine Gregoire came out in support of gay marriage, saying she's finally worked out her stance on the issue after seven years of deep thinking and will now support a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the state during her lame duck session.
On the one hand, this doesn't mean much politically to Oregon. Our Governor John Kitzhaber has already come out in support of gay marriage and Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) has already made clear that we won't be seeing a statewide push for gay marriage until at least 2014.
On the other hand, Gregoire's change of heart is significant because it's exactly the kind of tip-toward-equality that BRO is hoping will happen with a majority of Oregonians. Read what Gregoire says about how she made her decision:
"It's right here that frees me up to do this," she said, tapping her chest during a news conference. "I have not liked where I've been for seven years. I have sorted it out in my head and in my heart."
That's exactly in line with BRO's campaign to "start conversations" across the state so that the chunk of voters who lean toward equality but are undecided about gay marriage will move into the more compassionate camp. Plus, having a moderate like Gregoire shift to support gay marriage helps push the mainstream needle toward supporting gay rights. Support for gay marriage in Oregon is creeping upward—polls show 48 percent of Oregonians support it—and will continue to climb if supporting gay marriage becomes the new normal, rather than just the liberal opinion.