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State's marriage equality follows Massachusetts' example

Residents of the state of Massachusetts might be surprised that, when the Washington state legislature last considered the issue of gay marriage, its response was to ban the institution. That ban has not stopped issues related to gay rights from resurfacing in the state.

More than a decade later, the state lawmaking body is considering this issue again. This news comes after other recent legislative efforts in the last few years that have granted more rights under the law to gay and lesbian partners.

If gay marriage legislation passes this year, the state of Washington would become the seventh state, in addition to Washington, D.C., to make same-sex marriage into a legal institution. People who are following this issue nationwide should know that these bills are being advanced by gay lawmakers, intent on making legal strides for citizens of Washington.

Before gay and lesbian couples will be able to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington, these bills must go through the legislative process. First, these bills will be heard in a public hearing in their respective House and Senate committees.

The spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, Michael Cole-Schwartz, gave this remark: "If there's one word to sum up where Washington is on marriage equality, its momentum."

Washington could follow the example of Massachusetts, which has already legalized gay marriage. Other states that have legalized this right for same-sex couples are: Connecticut, Iowa, New York, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

More information about same-sex couples' rights, including how to deal with divorce-related issues, can be obtained from a family law group.

Source: Boston.com, "Gay marriage gaining momentum in WA legislature," Rachel La Corte, Jan. 21, 2012

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