Dozens of state lawmakers in Washington are expected next week to introduce a bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state.

Democratic state Senator Ed Murray from Seattle is the chief sponsor of the bill.

On Thursday, state Rep. Jim Moeller announced he would join the effort.

“Let's trust adults to make the call – not any state office, agency or bureaucracy – when it comes to adult decisions such as marital vows,” Moeller, an openly gay Democrat from Vancouver, said in a statement.

“Our objective is to strengthen the social and legal protections for average mainstream Washington families – the men, women and their children who make their homes in our communities and neighborhoods,” he said.

Murray, who is also openly gay, has previously sponsored bills shoring up the state's domestic partnership law. The latest expansion approved in 2009 gives gay and lesbian couples all the legal protections of marriage.

Lawmakers in 1998 approved a law that defines marriage in Washington as a heterosexual union. It survived a legal challenge in 2006.

During a recent interview with National Public Radio (NPR), Murray said the recent passage of such a law in New York had renewed momentum in Washington.

“I think the public is now with us. And that's why I think we should move it in the Legislature. And that's why we waited. That's why we did domestic partnership first; the public wasn't with us yet. I think they are there now.”

“I think we've changed hearts and minds,” Murray told MyFox 28.