A bill that recognizes the out-of-state marriages of gay and lesbian couples with domestic partnerships cleared the Washington House on Friday.

With a 58 to 39 vote lawmakers in the Democrat-controlled House approved the measure sponsored by Representative Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat, The Olympian reported.

“This bill is about fairness for all families,” Jinkins said. “Right now, there's a hole in the law.”

Lawmakers in 2009 extended domestic partnerships to include all the rights and protections granted to married heterosexual couples. Opponents of the law put it up for a vote and campaigned to repeal it, but voters decided to keep the law.

The out-of-state domestic partnerships and civil unions of gay couples are currently recognized, but the law excludes marriages.

“This is not a big deal – we're not extending any new rights,” she said. “It says if you have a marriage in another state, you get a domestic partnership here. You don't get marriage here – you get a domestic partnership.”

Opponents balked at the late night debate, asking why it wasn't taking place “in broad daylight,” when voters had a chance to hear what was going on.

The measure now heads to the Senate.