Two Republican state senators in Olympia—Sens. Steve Litzow (R-41, Mercer Island) and Cheryl Pflug (R-5, Maple Valley)—have said they will vote for gay marriage legislation, meaning Democrats are within one or two votes of the 25 votes needed to pass the gay rights bill proposed by Gov. Chris Gregoire, Sen. Ed Murray (D-43, Capitol Hill) and Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Capitol Hill).

There are still a few conservative Democrats who haven't signed on. But there are also two more Republicans (like Litzow and Pflug, from the suburbs), Sens. Joe Fain (R-47, Auburn) and Andy Hill (R-45, Redmond), who may go for the bill and make up the difference.



Sen. Joe Fain



Sen. Andy Hill

I claim no news-reporter objectivity on this bill. It's an obvious civil rights issue: Republicans who vote against it are following the bad example of their 1940s, 50s, and '60s GOP counterparts (and Southern Democrats) who supported Jim Crow laws. Moreover, it should be a no-brainer for Republicans: It's pro-family legislation.

So, a little lobbying here: Sens. Fain and Hill, please read this article in today's NYT. There's a bonus if you vote the right way.

Here's the lead:
All four Republicans who voted for same-sex marriage [in New York state]sharply increased their fund-raising in the six months after the marriage bill passed, in many cases raising money from people they had never met. And Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat who forcefully pushed the legislation, raised $6 million in six months helped by fund-raisers that highlighted his support for same-sex marriage.

State Senator Roy J. McDonald, a Republican who is a Vietnam veteran from Saratoga County, became a momentary folk hero for many gay people when he blurted out that people who were unhappy with his support for same-sex marriage “can take the job and shove it.” He raised about $447,000 in the six months following the vote, about 27 times more than he had raised in the same period in 2009.

Senator Stephen M. Saland, a Republican lawyer from Poughkeepsie whose decision to support same-sex marriage became clear only when he rose to speak during the vote, raised $425,000. For rank-and-file lawmakers in Albany, those are large sums — both men raised more in the latter half of 2011 than did the Senate majority leader, Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican.

Senator Mark Grisanti, a first-term Republican from Buffalo, raised $325,000 in the six months after the vote.