same sex marriage bill passes8:17 pm - 02/01/2012
State Senate approves gay marriage bill
The state Senate passed legislation Wednesday night that legalizes gay marriage. The bill now goes to the House, where it's expected to pass easily.
OLYMPIA — A bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington cleared its biggest legislative hurdle Wednesday night in a historic vote by the state Senate.
Lawmakers approved the bill 28 to 21. The measure now heads for the House where it's expected to easily pass as early as next week. The governor supports the bill as well.
Washington would become the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.
The outcome, while expected, culminates more than decade of work by Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, the prime sponsor of the bill, and the gay and lesbian community.
"A lot of people are just stunned, particularly people my age and older, to think this day would actually come in our lifetime," Murray told reporters before the vote.
Gay marriage opponents have promised to challenge any same-sex marriage law at the ballot. A referendum cannot be filed until the governor signs the legislation.
The bill is SB 6239.