Washington Poised to Become 7th U.S. State With Marriage Equality
Washington appeared almost certain to become the seventh state to allow same-sex marriage after the State Senate voted late Wednesday for a measure that would allow gay and lesbian couples to marry beginning this summer.
Supporters had considered the Senate to be the more challenging chamber in which to pass the bill, but it was approved easily, by a vote of 28 to 21, after less than 90 minutes of debate. The measure now moves to the House, where it has wide support and could be voted on as soon as next week. Gov. Christine Gregoire has urged the bill’s approval. The governor is a Democrat, and both legislative chambers are controlled by Democrats.
The Times notes that Washington has been paving the way for this decision for a while now:
Washington has steadily expanded rights for gay and lesbian couples since 2006, when it approved domestic partnerships. In 2009, it passed a so-called everything-but-marriage bill, which was challenged in a public referendum and upheld by voters, 53 to 47.
And now some analysis of what the decision will mean for the residents of Washington state: