More than a decade after a same-sex marriage bill was introduced in the Washington State legislature, the path to legalizing homosexual marriage is now gaining traction.
A new bill authorizing marriages between homosexuals was introduced on Jan. 13 in the state house. A similar measure was also filed in the state senate.
Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat and a Catholic who recently announced she had changed her mind on the issue, asked legislators for quick action.
The house version has enough votes to pass, but the senate's measure is still 25 votes short.
The bill would make Washington the seventh state in which same-sex couples would be allowed to marry.
In 2009, the state approved what has become known as the "Everything but Marriage" law, which gave expanded rights to gay couples.
A group of Roman Catholic bishops in Washington oppose the new bill . They issued a statement praising the state's existing law for recognizing "the unique and irreplaceable potential of a man and woman to conceive and nurture new life, thus contributing to the continuation of the human race."