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Washington state House passes gay marriage bill

The state House of Representatives passed legislation yesterday legalizing gay marriage with a 55-43 vote.

The bill passed the state Senate last week with a 28-21 vote. It now goes to Gov. Chris Gregoire — who has already vocalized her support — for her signature. She will have five days to sign the bill.

Gay-marriage opponents have promised to challenge the same-sex marriage law, putting on the November ballot a referendum for repeal that could be filed after the governor signs the legislation.

Jennifer Gibbons, director of the ASUW Queer Student Commission, said the passage is a step in the right direction, but the last few weeks have made it clear that it’s going to be a “hard-fought battle.” She said the referendum will bring the issue to the voters in November.

“For everyone that’s rallied to support this, a lot of people have rallied against it,” she said. “It’s going to be a big campaign on both sides.”

If the bill becomes law, Washington will be the seventh state to legalize gay marriage.

Reach News Editor Sarah Schweppe at news@dailyuw.com.

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