Washington State Lawmakers Approve Gay Marriage

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

A gay marriage bill in Washington state passed its final hurdle on Wednesday, and the governor has vowed to sign it into law.

The House voted 55-43 to approve same-sex marriage, following last week's 28-21 vote in the state Senate.

"With today's vote, we tell the nation that Washington state will no longer deny our citizens the opportunity to marry the person they love," said Gov. Christine Gregoire. "We tell every child of same-sex couples that their family is every bit as equal and important as all other families in our state. And we take a major step toward completing a long and important journey to end discrimination based on sexual orientation."

Washington would become the seventh state in the nation to legalize gay marriage, joining Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Iowa and New York, as well as the District of Columbia.

The law would go into effect in June, unless opponents attempt to stop its implementation by getting the issue onto the November ballot.

CNN has video of the debate as well as the vote: