Lawmakers in Washington State have
introduced a gay marriage bill, The Columbian reported.
Democratic Representative Jim Moeller
introduced his bill in the House on Tuesday, while Senator Ed Murray,
a Seattle Democrat, introduced a companion bill in the Senate on
Washington state lawmakers defined
marriage as an institution between a man and a woman when it banned
gay marriage in 1998. In 2006, the Washington Supreme Court upheld
the constitutionality of the law.
The state, however, recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with domestic partnerships.
In 2009, the Legislature expanded its
domestic partnerships law to include all the rights and
responsibilities of marriage.
Opponents put the law up for a vote,
but voters decided to keep the law.
“Over the past several years, the
Legislature and the public together have been steadily building a
bridge to equality for gay and lesbian families,” Moeller, who is
openly gay, said in a statement.
“Gay and lesbian families in
Washington now enjoy the same state spousal rights that their married
straight friends enjoy – except the name 'marriage.'”
Fifteen senators have backed the
measure in the Senate, while forty-three representatives sponsored
the House version.
Democratic Governor Chris Gregoire
signed the original 2006 domestic partnerships law and its three