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A bill heading to Washington governor Chris Gregoire's desk would allow the state to recognize marriages of gay and lesbian couples performed elsewhere.
The state senate passed the bill with a 28-19 vote, with four Republicans voting with mostly Democrats to support the vote. In the house, the bill passed 58-39 on a party-line vote, according to the Associated Press.
The law would classify the marriages as domestic partnerships, as same-sex couples in the state can enter into domestic partnerships, and not full marriages. State senator Ed Murray told KIRO Radio that the bill fills the gap in Washington's existing domestic-partnership law but is not meant to substitute for marriage equality.
"We're not there yet," Murray said. "The important thing is that we pass this legislation when the public is with us. We want to be able to survive a ballot initiative that surely will be filed against it."