State senate now has 25 votes to pass same-sex marriage bill

Washington is poised to become the seventh state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage, now that a 25th senator has decided to support a bill introduced in the Legislature.

State Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island, announced her support after a two-hour Senate hearing on the bill Monday, according to Washington United for Marriage.

There was already enough support in the House to pass the bill, but supporters needed to find 25 votes in the Senate to assure passage. Gov. Chris Gregoire declared her support for the bill earlier this month before the start of the 2012 legislative session.

Washington United for Marriage is a coalition of organizations, congregations, unions, and business associations working to secure civil marriage for gay and lesbian couples. The group welcomed Haugen's announcement of support.

“Hundreds of constituents shared their stories of love, commitment and family with Sen. Haugen, and in doing so convinced her that she was doing the right thing for Washington,” Lacey All, chair for Washington United for Marriage, said in a statement after Monday's hearing.

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