A Washington House panel on Monday will begin considering a bill which would make Washington the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee will hold its first public hearing on Senate Bill 6239 at 8AM.

If the panel approves the measure on Monday, the full House could vote on it as early as Wednesday.

The Senate approved the bill last Wednesday with greater support than expected.

Governor Chris Gregoire has pledged to sign the bill into law.

(Related: Chris Gregoire urges Americans to support gay marriage.)

Since 2009, Washington has given gay and lesbian couples all the protections of marriage through domestic partnerships. Opponents of the expansion – dubbed “everything but marriage” – called for a referendum on the bill that expanded the original law approved two years earlier. Voters decided against repealing the law.

Opponents have promised a return to the ballot box should lawmakers legalize gay marriage.

Marriage equality legislation is also being considered in Maryland and New Jersey. The New Jersey Senate is expected to vote on the measure on Tuesday.