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Same-sex marriage bill advances to House Floor

A House committee approved a measure to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington state, setting the stage for final passage this week.

The House Judiciary committee advanced the measure on a 7-5 vote after a public hearing. The bill could be up for a vote on the House floor as early as Wednesday. The Senate passed the measure on a 28-21 vote last Wednesday. Once passed by the House, the bill goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire for her signature.

Gov. Gregoire supports the measure and has said she will sign it into law, though opponents have promised to challenge it at the ballot with a referendum.

State Sen. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, also backs the measure.

“Marriage is more than just a collection of rights and protections — it is the commitment between two people who love each other and have pledged to support one another in life,” said Ranker.

If legislation is approved, Washington would be the seventh state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

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