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Gregoire pushes to legalize same-sex marriage in Washington

Washington state's governor Chris Gregoire announced her support for same-sex marriage and will propose legislation to legalize it in her state.

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Gov. Christine Gregoire, D-Wash, announced she will propose legislation in support of same-sex marriage. (Chris Joseph Taylor/AFP/Getty Images)

Washington state’s Gov. Christine Gregoire said on Wednesday she will push forward legislation to legalize marriage for gay and lesbian couples, the Seattle Times reported.

"It's time, it's the right thing to do, and I will introduce a bill to do it," Gregoire said in a statement, the Seattle Times reported. The proposal will be introduced during the legislative sessions that starts Monday.

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"Our gay and lesbian families face the same hurdles as heterosexual families -- making ends meet, choosing what school to send their kids to, finding someone to grow old with, standing in front of friends and family and making a lifetime commitment," Gregoire said, the Seattle Times reported. “For all couples, a state marriage license is very important. It gives them the right to enter into a marriage contract in which their legal interests, and those of their children if any, are protected by well-established civil law."

Same sex marriage is sure to be a big issue in the upcoming 2012 session of Washington Legislature, the Seattle PI reported. If Washington approves the legislation, it would make it the seventh state to legalize gay marriage. Currently New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire and Iowa allow same-sex marriage.

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Even though Democrats hold the majority in both of Washington’s state chambers, the bill is not certain to pass since some conservative Democrats have sided with Republicans on the issue, Reuters reported.

Gregoire expressed her support for same-sex marriage in 2008, saying it is “the state's responsibility is to absolutely ensure equality,” the Seattle Times reported.

Gregoire, 64, has held office since 2004 in Washington and announced in June she would not run for a third term in November elections.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120104/gregoire-pushes-legalize-same-sex-marriage-washi