Gay marriage seen a step closer in Washington state

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 23, 2012 4:03 PM
Gay marriage seen a step closer in Washington state

OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A bill to legalize gay marriage in Washington state now has enough votes to pass, a state senator who sponsored the legislation said on Monday.

Democratic Sen. Ed Murray said supporters had secured the 25 votes needed to pass the measure, which is in committee and will likely come to a final vote next month.

Governor Chris Gregoire, a Democrat, has announced she would support the legislation, which would make Washington the seventh state to fully recognize same-sex unions.

The bill already has enough votes to pass the state House.

Opponents of same-sex marriage have said that if the bill passes they will put the issue before voters on a ballot initiative in November.

"It will be difficult there's no doubt about it but I'm confident that the state is now with us on this issue, that on the issue of marriage equality we are now the mainstream," Murray said.

(Reporting by Nicole Neroulias, Writing by Dan Whitcomb, Editing by Daniel Trotta)