February 2, 2012
The Washington State Senate voted 28-21 to approve a same-sex marriage bill last night, effectively clearing the final hurdle to becoming the seventh state to redefine traditional marriage, the Christian Post reports. Four Republicans voted in favor of the bill and three Democrats opposed it. The Senate has long been viewed by the bill's supporters as the biggest obstacle to pass, since Washington's House of Representatives and Gov. Christine Gregoire have both expressed support for gay marriage. Those opposed to the bill could force a referendum onto the November ballot, but it would require collecting more than 120,000 signatures by June 6. If a referendum doesn't occur, gay couples will be able to marry by the end of June. A 2011 poll found that 43 percent of Washingtonians are in favor of same-sex marriage, while only 22 percent believe the state should keep the current system of civil unions.