Washington Governor Chris Gregoire is expected to endorse a bid to legalize gay marriage in the state, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported.

Gregoire will hold a press conference on Wednesday morning to discuss the upcoming legislation.

Democratic state Senator Ed Murray from Seattle is the chief sponsor of the soon-to-be introduced gay marriage bill.

Gregoire has signed into law previous bills shoring up the state's domestic partnership law. The latest expansion approved in 2009 gives gay and lesbian couples most of the legal protections of marriage. Murray, who is openly gay, also backed these bills.

The 2009 expansion – dubbed “everything but marriage” – survived a referendum seeking to repeal the measure.

Marriage was defined as a heterosexual union with passage of a 1998 law, which survived a legal challenge in 2006.

Murray told the paper that if Gregoire announces her support for the upcoming effort, “it would certainly help us move the issue of marriage equality this session.”

A poll released in October found that 55 percent of Washingtonians would vote against a ballot initiative that attempted to repeal a gay marriage law.