WA Gay Marriage Bill Passes 55-43

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington state Legislature has voted to legalize gay marriage, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

The Washington state House passed the measure on a 55-43 vote Wednesday after hours of debate. The state Senate approved the proposal last week.

Democratic Gov. Chris Gregoire is expected to sign the bill next week, and it would take effect 90 days later. But opponents have promised a challenge, which could put the law on hold pending the result of a November vote.

Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington D.C.

— Copyright 2012 The Associated Press with contribution from tamacbsseattle

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