Passage of a gay marriage bill in
Washington state remains 4 votes shy of passage, but 7 lawmakers say
they remain undecided.
According to a tally by The
Associated Press, the measure has sufficient support to clear the
House, but a 21 to 18 count leaves it 4 votes shy in the Senate,
where 25 votes are needed for passage.
Governor Chris Gregoire, who previously
signed bills expanding the state's current domestic partnership law,
last week publicly endorsed marriage equality for the first time.
Five Democratic and two freshman
Republican senators say they remain undecided.
Democratic Senators Karen Fraser of
Olympia and Rosemary McAuliffe of Bothell have signaled they would
likely favor the measure but were unwilling to commit.
Republican Senators Joe Fain of Auburn
and Andy Hill of Redmond are also leaning in favor of the measure.
Senator Ed Murray of Seattle, a
Democratic leader on the issue of gay marriage, said that he's “50
percent optimistic” it will pass.
“I can't declare victory,” he said.
“I don't think we'll know we have the votes until we actually
Two Republican lawmakers are among the
“yes” votes: Senators Steve Litzow of Mercer Island and Cheryl
Pflug of Maple Valley.
“I don't feel diminished when another
human being is allowed to exercise the same rights that I enjoy,”
Pflug said. “I would feel diminished if I voted to deny others the
right to exercise those same rights and freedoms.”