Washington House passes gay marriage bill

The Washington state House of Representatives passed a bill today that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, pending the governor's signature. The bill passed by a margin of 55-43 and included support from two Republicans. 

Sen. Ed Murray (D-Seattle) issued a statement that read:

“It took the courage of many legislators who struggled with a difficult issue and decided to do what they believe is best for all Washingtonians to make today’s historic vote possible. It will bring to an end what has been, for me, a 17-year-struggle in the Legislature to recognize the civil rights of gay and lesbian couples in our state.

“In truth, it was the families who shared their stories of love and commitment who spoke to the hearts of legislators and changed minds. We will need more of that mettle – the courage to share deeply personal stories for the cause of justice – if we are to win the hearts and minds of the people of Washington. I expect a referendum on this issue, and I remain confident that, ultimately, marriage equality will be Washington’s law.”

Gov. Gregoire, who has previously declared her support for same-sex marriage, has five days to sign the bill, which would go into law on June 7. 

Questions about how this is all going to work? Read our blog from earlier today.