A bill that would make Washington the
seventh state to legalize gay marriage cleared a Senate panel on
Thursday, the AP reported.
The Government Operations, Tribal
Relations & Election Committee approved the measure with a 4 to 3
The full Senate is expected to vote on
the bill next week.
Committee members voted down several
amendments offered by Republicans, including one that would have
required the measure be approved by voters in November.
“We thank the Senate committee for
quickly passing this important legislation for Washington families,”
Lacey All, chair off Washington United for Marriage, said in a
statement. “We're excited that this bill continues to move toward
final passage, and we will not let up until the governor signs it.”
“While we're happy with today's vote,
we know it is but one battle in the fight for equality, and we will
be steadfast in our continued effort to win marriage equality and
defend it in November,” All added.
Opponents of marriage equality have
vowed to put the issue on the November ballot.
On Monday, after the bill's public
hearing in the Senate, Senator
Mary Margaret Haugen announced her support for the measure,
giving supporters the final vote needed to secure approval.