An anticipated push to legalize gay marriage in Washington begins on Monday, the Seattle Times reported.

Washington United for Marriage, a coalition of gay rights, labor, civil rights and religious groups, will kick off the effort Monday with a press conference, followed by a series of town hall style meetings.

Senator Ed Murray, a Democrat from Seattle, is the chief sponsor of the legislation.

“We're going to push it,” Murray told the paper. “I believe 2012 is the best chance we've ever had to make marriage equality a reality.”

If approved, Washington would become the seventh state behind Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Iowa, Vermont and, most recently, New York to legalize marriage between two people of the same sex. Gay and lesbian couples can also marry in the District of Columbia.

Murray, who is 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.

Gay rights opponents who put the domestic partnership law up for a vote (it survived) are expected to challenge a gay marriage law, if approved by lawmakers.

Lawmakers in 1998 approved a law that defines marriage in Washington as a heterosexual union. The state Supreme Court upheld the law's constitutionality in 2006.