Washington state Senator Steve Litzow has said he will be the first Republican in the Senate to support a gay marriage bill, The Seattle Times reported.

Governor Chris Gregoire on Wednesday said she would introduce a bill in the upcoming legislative session that if approved would make Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. In announcing her decision, Gregoire said she had struggle with the issue of marriage equality.

“I am a traditional Republican,” the freshman senator told The Seattle Times' editorial board. “When you think about gay marriage, it's the right thing to do and it's very consistent with the tenets of being a Republican – such as individual freedom and personal responsibility.”

While the Republican Party remains officially opposed to giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry, a growing number of members are speaking out in favor of marriage equality. Four Republicans helped pass a gay marriage law in New York last year. And a group of Republicans in Minnesota is working to defeat a proposed gay marriage ban in that state.