Rep. Reuven Carlyle, right, and other lawmakers congratulate Rep. Jamie Pedersen, center, who helped lead efforts to pass the bill, after the House voted to legalize gay marriage in Washington state.
Washington became the seventh state to enter into the distinguished company of those that recognize the right of gays and lesbians to marry when the House passed Gov. Chris Gregoire’s same-sex marriage bill with a 55-43 vote Wednesday. Gregoire is expected to sign the bill into law within the next five days.
Gay marriage opponents promised to challenge the legalization with a referendum, which would be pursued after Gregoire signs the bill. —ARK
The Seattle Times:
There was never any doubt the legislation would be approved in the House. More than 50 lawmakers announced support for the bill before it came up for a vote.
The biggest hurdle was the state Senate, which has conservative Democrats opposed to the measure. Even there, it passed last week with a 28-21 vote.
Lawmakers in the House debated the measure for more than two hours, although as Rep. Jay Rodne, R-North Bend, noted early on, “This bill is going to pass. It’s a foregone conclusion.”