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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Washington Legislature. Austin Jenkins is the Olympia correspondent for the Northwest News Network. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) weekly public affairs program "Inside Olympia."

Washington Republican Lawmaker Celebrates Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Washington Legislature
Washington state Rep. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla

Republican state lawmaker Maureen Walsh of Walla Walla, Washington, is celebrating Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage nationwide.

“I’m just really pleased and very happy that a lot of families now will feel very equal in this country and I think that’s really important,” she said.

That includes Walsh’s family. Her daughter will marry her same-sex partner in November.

Walsh made an impassioned speech in favor of same-sex marriage in 2012 that went viral.

She said she took some heat in her conservative legislative district for that.

“I had a little trouble sometimes with some of the folks and I’m sure I lost some voters as a result of that decision,” Walsh said. “It’s a very passionate issue. But on the other hand I think if I were to poll the voters in my district now, I think they would be supportive.”

Walsh added that she has “great respect” for the bible having been raised Catholic. But she said she also believes marriage is an inherent right.

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."