BREAKING: Washington State Senate Passes Marriage Equality

A little more than an hour ago, a bipartisan group of Washington State Senators voted 28–21 in favor of marriage equality. The state senate was widely seen as the biggest hurdle to marriage equality and passage by the state house should follow. Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) urged the state house to pass the bill so she could sign it immediately:

Tonight the Washington State Senate stood up for what is right and told all families in our state that they are equal and that the state cannot be in the business of discrimination. I believe that this decision should be made by our state Legislature, and I’m proud our elected leaders recognized that responsibility.

Tonight our families are better for this vote. Our kids have a brighter future for this bill. And our state is better for this bill. I encourage the House to approve this bill and get it to my desk for my signature. I look forward to the day when all Washington citizens have equal opportunity to marry the person they love.

Opponents of marriage equality have vowed to seek the 120,000-plus signatures necessary to force a statewide referendum on the measure.