OLYMPIA, Wash. — A House panel in the Washington state legislature on Monday advanced its version of a bill to legalize same-sex marriage, placing Washington state just steps from becoming the seventh U.S. state to offer full marriage equality.
The measure now goes to the full House for a vote as early as Wednesday, where its passage is expected. The state Senate passed its version of the bill by a vote of 28-21 in a late evening session last Wednesday.
Gay and lesbian couples would then be able to wed beginning in June, unless opponents follow through on their threat to seek a ballot referendum.
A referendum cannot be filed until after the bill is passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gregoire — opponents would need 120,577 signatures by June 6.
Washington has had a domestic partnership law since 2007 and an “everything but marriage” expansion of the domestic partnership law since 2009.