The Washington state Senate voted 28 to 21 this week to pass a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, with four Republicans voting in support of the bill. The bill could go to the state House as early as next week, where it is expected to pass. Governor Chris Gregoire (D) has indicated that she will sign the bill into law, which would make Washington the seventh state to legalize same-sex marriage.
Lacey All, Chair of Washington United for marriage, stated, “We thank Majority Leader Brown, Sen. Murray and the bipartisan coalition of senators who stood with us today in the name of equality. The overwhelming support we’re seeing from businesses, labor, faith communities, and people all across the state is a testament to the momentum of this movement and sensibilities of Washingtonians.”
At the first public hearing on same-sex marriage in Washington state last week, Senator Mary Margaret Haugen (D) announced that she would support legalizing same-sex marriage. With Haugen’s vote, considered the deciding vote, the state Senate had enough votes to pass its same sex-marriage bill.
Currently, New Jersey, Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, and Hawaii recognize same-sex civil unions. Same-sex couples can obtain marriage licenses in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Washington, DC.
Statement of the Human Rights Campaign2/1/12; Huffington Post 2/1/12; Feminist Daily Newswire 1/24/12, 1/5/12